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Shahama sizzles at Meydan as Godolphin dominate Carnival meeting

Shahama sprints to victory in the Group 3 UAE Oaks at Meydan on Friday. (Supplied photo)
Shahama sprints to victory in the Group 3 UAE Oaks at Meydan on Friday. (Supplied photo)

It was the fourth career success for the Fawzi Nazz-trained filly who looks set to take on the boys in next month's UAE Derby on Dubai World Cup night



By Leslie Wilson Jr

Published: Sat 19 Feb 2022, 12:21 AM

Bahraini superstar filly Shahama oozed class as she effortlessly overcame an awkward start to romp to victory in the Group 3 UAE Oaks Presented By JAFZA and provide the centerpiece of a memorable sixth Carnival meeting at Meydan where Team Godolphin once more ruled the roost.

The only blip on an otherwise thoroughly professional performance came when she broke awkwardly and found herself racing at the very back of the seven-horse field for most of the 1,900 metre trip.

But once her jockey, Adrie de Vries, nursed her back into the race and adopted a stalking position wide on the outside, it was evident that the damage had been brought under check.

Confidently handled by De Vries, a 12-time champion jockey in his native Netherlands, Shahama cruised past the field and stretched clear in copy-book style cross the line two lengths clear of Arabian Gazelles, and Frankie Dettori.

It was a fourth career success for the Fawzi Nazz-trained filly who looks set to take on the boys in next month’s UAE Derby on Dubai World Cup night.

“She was very upset today because of the screen and the music,” said de Vries. “She’s a lot better than the rest, she’s got a lot of class and she gets you out of trouble when you need to.

“I think there’s a lot more left in the tank because she’s doing it with a lot of ease. She’s very professional. We have to see what connections want for her, next.”

Meanwhile, Team Godolphin swept through the rest of the card winning four of the five other races, three of them going to Epsom Derby-winning handler Charlie Appleby and the Dubai-owned stable’s retained rider, William Buick, with Saeed bin Suroor, picking up the other.

Perhaps the most exciting of the Godolphin quadruple was the highly-regarded Lazuli’s performance in the Blue Point Sprint Presented By Jebel Ali Port.

Godolphin’s Lazuli wins the Blue Point Sprint. (Supplied photo)
Godolphin’s Lazuli wins the Blue Point Sprint. (Supplied photo)

A sprinter of note, Lazuli hit top gear midway through the 1,000 metre contest and ran on strongly to beat British hope Acklan Express by one and a half lengths with the Australian pair of Parsifal and He’s A Balter, a neck and neck back in third and fourth.

“He’s a real speed horse and he looks like a proper sprinter,” said Buick. “He’s well built, and I thought that was a very good performance. He’s now a Group 2 winner so it will be nice to get a Group 1 next to his name.”

If Lazuli delivered a big performance, then Manobo showcased the might of the Godolphin operation with a thumping five and a half length victory in the 2,800 metre Nad Al Sheba Trophy Presented By DP World UAE.

Last season’s Group 2 Prix Chaudenay Stakes winner left his 14 rivals for dead in a few strides and pulled clear in the closing stages, to score from East Asia and Global Heat

Manobo’s time of 2m 53.78s for the 2,800 metre trip eclipsed the previous best set by Almoonqith in the 2015 renewal of the Nad Al Sheba Trophy.

Manobo wins the 2,800-metre Nad Al Sheba Trophy. (Supplied photo)
Manobo wins the 2,800-metre Nad Al Sheba Trophy. (Supplied photo)

“Obviously, we are delighted with Manobo. We will probably look towards the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup with him,” Appleby said.

William Buick added: “Manobo is a beautiful horse and very imposing. He is five from five now and obviously very good, and the team had him in lovely shape tonight for what was a stepping-stone run.

“It was a lovely performance and just what you want to see on the back of a long lay-off.”

The Appleby-Buick hat trick was sealed by Valiant Prince who aced to a third straight victory over a mile with an outrageous display of galloping in the closing Mina Rashid Handicap.

Earlier in the evening Bhupat Seemar and Tadhg O’Shea teamed up to win the opening Mina Hamriya with Imperial Empire, who came home a decisive five and a three-quarter length winner of the 1,400 metre contest.


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