Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 22 April 2018

Raihana claims UAE Oaks for De Kock

Ashley Iveson

Mike de Kock's Raihana made up for her disappointing performance in the UAE 1,000 Guineas when getting on top in the closing stages to land the UAE Oaks at Meydan.

The four-year-old was a brilliant winner on her track debut in January but could only finish fourth when favourite for the UAE 1,000 Guineas two weeks ago.

Sent off at 11/4 to atone in the hands of Christophe Soumillon, Raihana went in pursuit of Mark Johnston's Bikini Babe and Kieren Fallon in the straight and gradually wore her down to take the Listed prize. "We planned to be handy in the Guineas but we didn't think they'd go that quick and once Christophe had committed we couldn't go anywhere," said De Kock.

"Today was a completely different kettle of fish and this was the Raihana we know. She'll go for the UAE Derby now as I think she's good enough."

Soumillon added: "I was a bit disappointed with her last time as I really thought she was the best filly in Dubai and couldn't be beaten. Last time she had a good draw but she was over-raced a bit and I took the lead too early.

"When she hits the front she can stop sometimes, but last time was a good lesson for me to learn how to win again with her and today she did it perfectly."

Raihana's success was the second leg of a double on the card for De Kock as he had earlier struck with Mr Brock in the Meydan Horizons Handicap.

Sent off at 10/11 having finished fourth in a Group Three last week, Kevin Shea's mount hit the front at the top of the straight and powered clear for a decisive success.

Godolphin enjoyed a double with former Breeders' Cup winner Midshipman taking the Meydan Metropolis Conditions Race under Frankie Dettori, and Antinori (3/1) taking the Meydan Hotel Handicap in the hands of Ahmed Ajtebi. Dettori was out of luck with Aspectoflove in the Group Three Balanchine as Olivier Peslier denied him in the shadow of the post on Deem.

Saeed bin Suroor completed a good night's work when Sabotage flashed home on the outside to deny Dettori on the Godolphin-owned Age Of Reason in the DRC Gold Cup.

Royston Ffrench hit the target on 14/1 chance Star Crowned in the Meydan Museum Handicap and the jockey said: "I got in a bit of trouble in the finish as my whip had broke and I got all tangled up, so I was praying that we won."

Irish Independent

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