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Kafka, Chiefdom post impressive victories

Filed on January 5, 2020
Jockey James Doyle rides Franz Kafka to victory at the Meydan Race Course on Saturday night. - Supplied photo

Four handicaps open to horses just below the required handicap mark of 90 were among the seven fixtures, highlighted by the District One Villa Award handicap.

Racing at Meydan on Saturday may not have been a Dubai World Cup Carnival card, but it was surely full of DWC Carnival aspirants and winners worth following into the ultra-valuable international extravaganza. Four handicaps open to horses just below the required handicap mark of 90 were among the seven fixtures, highlighted by the District One Villa Award handicap.

Said 2,000m turf affair went to an international raider in Simon Crisford-trained Franz Kafka, who metamorphosed into a dominant charge down the lane, winning by 4¼ lengths after making most of the running under James Doyle. The four-year-old gelded son of Dubawi, who previously ran in the colours of Sheikha Al Jalila Racing for John Gosden, won in the silks of Sultan Ali in his Crisford debut and eighth lifetime start. The effort earned him seven pounds, hoisting his rating to 93.

"We actually wanted to run him on the dirt track, but there was not a race for him, so we went the turf route and that was a very good effort," Crisford said. "We have taken him from John Gosden, who always said he was a nice horse and has always worked nicely for us. As I said, I really would like to get him on the dirt track because I think that will really suit him."

Equally as impressive was the nightcap, the District One Residence Cup handicap over 1,600m, which produced a brilliant performance from Chiefdom. The Salem bin Ghadayer pupil overcame a slow start to stalk, pounce and dominate his 15 rivals by four facile lengths. The son of The Factor won for the third time this season from four starts and proved his prowess on the turf for the first time. Mickael Barzalona gave the grey 5-year-old gelding a confident ride throughout for his second win of the card. The win earned him nine pounds and a DWC Carnival-worthy rating of 97.

Barzalona's first win came in the opening turf maiden, the 1,600m District One Blueviews Stretch, was won stylishly by Phoenix Thoroughbreds' Bin Ghadayer-trained Al Battar, a first UAE winner for the Dubai-based global ownership. Now a 4-year-old, the Dubawi colt only ran twice in for Great Britain for Ed Vaughan, including an excellent second at Windsor over 1,600m.


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