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Friday, February 16, 2007


UAE trainer Ismail Mohammed enjoyed a night to remember after Folk absolutely coasted home in the Gulf News UAE 1,000 Guineas at the sixth meeting of the Dubai International Racing Carnival at Nad Al Sheba.

The daughter of Quiet American, under Kerrin McEvoy, dictated proceedings from the start and nothing could get near her, with Greetings leading home the chasing pack, four and three-quarter lengths adrift.

“I only had her four days as she was in quarantine, having come from America, but she was training very well, and we never had a problem with her in the short time we’ve had her,” said Mohammed.

“She has shown just how fast she is and we will go for the UAE Oaks next.”

The win was Mohammed’s second of the night and puts him in pole position for the $120,000 first prize for being top trainer at the 2007 DIRC.

He leads the DIRC Trainer’s Award now with seven winners, after he earlier struck with Crime Scene in the e+ Handicap, thanks to a typically determined ride from Johnny Murtagh on board the four-year-old.

Mystical created history by becoming the first Indian-trained horse to win in Dubai , after being roared home in the Property Weekly Cup.

There were jubilant scenes after the last as Ryan Moore, who was completing a double, got the splits just when he needed them to guide the Indian champion home.

“I’ve never heard a roar like that here outside Dubai World Cup day,” said Moore . “And it was only a handicap!”

Trainer Subbiah Ganapathy said: “This win is for India . It has been a long time coming but we have made history today and put Indian racing on the world map.”

Meanwhile, National Colour, under Weichong Marwing, showed she could be tough to catch in the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen on March 31, sponsored by Gulf News, after she blitzed her rivals in the Friday Sprint.

South Africa’s top sprinter, who was a first runner and winner for Sean Tarry in the UAE, was having her first run on dirt, and despite a shaky start, coasted home in the 1000-metre contest, one and three-quarter lengths clear of Bounty Quest.

“She had it easier than we thought she would,” said Tarry. “She got a bad start, as she is used to springing off the turf from the stalls and lost about two or three lengths.

“But she recovered well and it was very pleasing – just we wanted. I think she may go straight to the Dubai Golden Shaheen now.”

The race had a horrible beginning after Royston French was unseated from Crooner just 200 metres after the start. He was later taken to hospital for an x-ray on his knee, but was fully conscious and reported to be in good spirits.

Earlier, Marwing and Diamond Quest looked without a hope when trailing all 13 runners two furlongs from home in the Aquarius Challenge.

But supporters of the Mike De Kock-trained five-year-old needn’t have worried, as the pair charged up the outside to win in the end by a comfortable two lengths.

Grantley Adams was in action only six days ago at Nad Al Sheba, when fourth to Conceal, and put that experience to good use when taking the Sport Extra Challenge.

Moore, who was giving British trainer Mick Channon his second winner of the 2007 DIRC, said: “We thought he’d win last week, but he showed what he can do here. We got a lovely run through and got the result we wanted.”

Ffrench had earlier enjoyed better luck when taking the opening Wheels Trophy on board Subpoena.

French, who came home a length and three-quarters in front of the unlucky-in-running So Will I, was supplying trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe with his third winner of the DIRC.

“I was a bit short of room, but it all opened up for me when it mattered and he came home well,” said Ffrench.

In the second race, Visionist ran out a very impressive winner in the Inside Out Plate under Wayne Smith, for trainer Musabah Al Muhairi.

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