Estimraar Stays On to Win Maktoum Challenge

Kentucky-bred Estimraar continued his ascent at Nad al Sheba racecourse with a 1 3/4-length victory over State Shinto in the Maktoum Challenge Round 1 (UAE-III), a prep for the $2-million Godolphin Mile (UAE-I) won last year by Grey Memo.

Estimraar went to the front at the top of the stretch in the one-mile contest and held off State Shinto and Conflict, who was another three-quarter lengths back in third. Go Underground, who had Aaron Gryder aboard, finished fourth.

Estimraar and jockey Wayne Smith completed the trip in 1:36.81. Owned by Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed al Maktoum, Estimraar has now won five of 12 starts, all at Nad al Sheba, including five of his last six starts.

The five-year-old son of Holy Bull out of the Slewpy mare Verbasle was bred in Kentucky by Robert Clay and Stud TNT. John Ferguson Bloodstock purchased Estimraar for the Maktoum family for $350,000 at the 1998 Keeneland September yearling sale.