Spotlight on Soft Falling Rain

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Spotlight on Soft Falling Rain

At last, it has been decided to send the talented South African colt Soft Falling Rain to defend his $1m Godolphin Mile Gr-2 title in a mission which seems to be very difficult if not impossible.

By Hisham Al Gizouli

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Published: Sat 29 Mar 2014, 10:34 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 11:26 PM

Soft Falling rain will defend his $1m Godolphin Mile title. — KT file

Soft Falling rain will defend his $1m Godolphin Mile title. —KT file

Unbeaten in all his three starts on the tapeta last year, the well-bred four-year-old son of National Assmebly has won last year’s edition for owner Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, in a tight finish against Stables companion Haatheq, but he’s looking forward to become the third horse to record consecutive victories in this race. He has had one run so far this season, over an inadequate 1200m on Super Saturday and will appreciate the return to 1600m. He is also well drawn this year, which he certainly was not 12 months ago. De Kock said: “He was badly in need of his sprint outing on Super Saturday and as I have said all along, bearing in mind he will be busy in Europe after this, Super Saturday and Dubai World Cup night were his two planned outings. We have a good draw this year, unlike 12 months ago, and he should be competitive.”

The maximum field of 16 have been declared, including Godolphin’s Shuruq (USA), winner of last year’s UAE Oaks and twice a course and distance winner this season. Winner of the 1600m Group 2 first round of the Al Maktoum Challenge on the opening night of the 2014 Dubai World Cup Carnival, she also won the Group 3 Burj Nahaar on Super Saturday. Her trainer, Saeed bin Suroor, is seeking a 12th victory in the race and he said: “She won last year’s UAE Oaks and has two course and distance victories to her name this season. She just loves this all-weather surface and is a far better filly on it than turf. It is another tough race but she is tough and remains in great form.”

Soft Falling Rain is not the only South African-trained runner in the field and is joined by dual South African Horse Of The Year, Variety Club (SAF). A course and distance winner on his local debut, he found Shuruq too strong on Super Saturday and, if to gain revenge, he has to overcome stall 15.

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