Godolphin Shows Strength On Nad Al Sheba Card

Edited release from Nad Al Sheba Racecourse
Godolphin Racing proved at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse on Thursday that it will be a force in 2001 after dominating a program with three 1-2-3 finishes, including a sweep of the inaugural US$200,000 Moonshell Mile. Also on display on the card were five 3-year-olds nominated to the U.S. Visa Triple Crown series.

The Moonshell Mile was added to the calendar to provide the fillies as a lead-in to the United Arab Emirates One Thousand Guineas and UAE Oaks. In the Moonshell Mile, Muwakleh announced herself the horse to beat with a very strong performance on her first racecourse appearance.

A full sister to the 1999 Dubai World Cup winner Almutawakel, Muwakleh was ridden by Richard Hills and proved too strong for stablemates Zahwah and Tempting Fate. The Mick Channon- trained filly Lady Lahar finished fourth.

"She was always travelling and I knew she would finish the race off strongly because she finishes her work off so well," said winning rider Richard Hills.

"She can't do better than win a race like this and beat winners at her first start and there is no doubt there is improvement there. The form in the race is good as Lady Lahar is a group III winner in England so the future looks good."

Muwakleh, Zahwah and Tempting Fate produced the third 1-2-3 for Godolphin on the night. Earlier on the program, the stable dominated the two divisions of the 3-year-old maidens.

Qawaqeb easily accounted for Aslaaf and Selsaal, the first ride in Dubai for leading English apprentice George Baker in the opening event and Marhoob performed a similar feat later.

Marhoob, out of the former top class mare Flagbird, had to fight hard to defeat stablemates Dubai Vision, a half-brother by Machiavellian to Dubai Millennium, and Bakhoor.

Qawaqeb, Selsaal, Marhoob, Dubai Vision, and Bakhoor are all among the early nominees to this year's Visa Triple Crown series.

Marhoob ran the faster of the two heats, his 1:37.17 over a half a second faster than Qawaqeb's 1:36.71.

Muwakleh ran the faster of the tree times, all races run over 1 mile on the dirt, her time of 1:36.46 comparing more than favorably with Qawaqeb's 1:36.71 and Marhoob's 1:37.17.

River Times, who won the handicap for horses rated 90-110 ran 1:37.49 for the same trip further pointing to the strength of the 3-year-olds.