Soneva Shows her Class

DUBAI - Soneva, ridden by Christophe Soumillon, unleashed a strong stretch run to win the Fillies & Mares Group-3 Cape Verdi, the highlight of the eight-race card on the third day of the Dubai International Racing Carnival at Meydan Racecourse on Friday.

By Hisham Al Gizouli

Published: Sun 7 Feb 2010, 11:50 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:21 AM

The third meeting of the seventh running of the world’s richest racing festival attracted top international horses from around the globe to compete in the new All-Weather and turf tracks at the state-of-the-art facility.

The four-year-old daughter of Cherokee Run was always going well before the Frenchman said go in the home straight to catch early leader Synergy and hold on courageously under pressure close home.

“She is a nice filly who I used to ride in France. That was a nice performance,” said the French jockey Christophe Soumillon.

Hot favourite Zirconeum under Kevin She dropped back to finish three lengths off the pace in sixth place. The mile is apparently too short for the South African Grade-1 winner and will definitely look different at an extended distance. The second grass race, a 1600m handicap, was won in style by Snaafy under Richard Hills for trainer Musabah Al Muhairi. It was the horse’s first run since the 2009 Dubai World Cup and the horse could have a different big night target this year according to Hills: “He is a much improved horse and that gives us plenty of options. The 1800m of the Dubai Duty Free would really suit him.”

There was a double on the night for Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor with Ahmed Ajtebi in the saddle on both Allybar over 2000m and Anmar over 2200m. Both handicaps were run on the Tapeta.

Ajtebi said: “It has been a good night and it is great to ride my first Meydan winners.”

Also in double form was Doug Watson whose Force Freeze won the 1200m Tapeta conditions race under Tadhg O’Shea half an hour before stable companion Barbecue Eddie routed his opponents in a 1400m Tapeta handicap under an inspired ride by William Supple who made every yard of the running.

Watson said: “We thought both would run well and Force Freeze is a horse we really have high hopes of. Willie (Supple) has stolen that race on Barbecue – it was a great ride.”

Last year’s UAE 1000 Guineas heroine So Shiny landed the opening 1200m Tapeta handicap under Olivier Peslier who said: “She is a naturally speedy filly and battles hard.”

The concluding 1900m Tapeta handicap was won by William Buick on the Dhruba Selvaratnam-trained Kal Barg whom he produced fast and late to deny Godolphin’s Espiritu.

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