Dubai World Cup Carnival: Kentucky Oaks vote for Mimi Kakoushi after gutsy victory

William Buick wows his Mum with Meydan Dubai World Cup Carnival hat-trick for Godolphin


Leslie Wilson Jr

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Mimi Kakoushi and Mickael Barzalona winning the Group 3 UAE Oaks on the seventh night of the Dubai World Cup Carnival. — Photo by Kareem Dawaba
Mimi Kakoushi and Mickael Barzalona winning the Group 3 UAE Oaks on the seventh night of the Dubai World Cup Carnival. — Photo by Kareem Dawaba

Published: Fri 17 Feb 2023, 11:45 PM

Emirati handler Salem bin Ghadayer is ready to shoot for the stars with Mimi Kakoushi after his filly recorded a courageous victory in the Group 3 UAE Oaks, the third Classic of the UAE racing season and one of the highlights of Friday’s seventh Dubai World Cup Carnival fixture.

Perhaps a trifle less stylish to her four-and-a-half-length victory in the UAE 1,000 Guineas seven weeks ago but arguably more significant as the daughter of four-time Group 1 winning stallion City of Light showed plenty of heart under duress to hold off the aggressive American raider Amy Please.

That performance earned her the right to be targeted at some of the top three-year-old races in the world including the UAE Derby (March 25) and Kentucky Oaks (May 5) with discussions of her also taking in the Al Bastakiya over 1,900m on Super Saturday (March 4).

“From the day she arrived at the yard she has been my favourite filly,” said a gushing Bin Ghadayer. “She proved today that she is a top-class horse.

“To be honest I thought today’s race will be a lot easier, but it wasn’t. Anyway, I think everyone enjoyed the performance they put on.

“What I like about her is that she is really a professional filly. She is so easy to train, so easy to deal with most importantly she has a racing mind,” added the Fazza Racing Stables boss.

“She knows her job, what she has to do in races, and that she must finish first at the post.”

Bin Ghadayer did not require much prompting to map out a future programme for Mimi Kakoushi benefited from a strong but confident ride from stable jockey Mickael Barzalona.

“It’s up to His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Crown Prince of Dubai) but I think she’s just as good as the boys and I will not be afraid of testing her against them in the future,” he said.

“But the UAE Derby and Kentucky Oaks for sure will be on her agenda.”

Barzalona was equally generous in his praise for his filly who he described as a classy filly.

“She does everything you ask her to do and the longer the trip the better for her,” said the French rider. “I’m more than happy with the way she won today.”

Meanwhile, William Buick and Charlie Appleby continued their Dubai World Cup Carnival sweep when they combined to score a perfect hat-trick in races four, five, and six.

However, the standout winner would have to be Siskany who must count as a serious contender for the Dubai Gold Cup where he was introduced as a 4/1 favourite on the international markets following a workmanlike victory in the 2,810m Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy.

A winner over course and distance 12 months ago the five-year-old son of Dubawi tracked the leaders for most of the trip before he was asked for his effort approaching the final furlong of the race and the response was electric. He crossed the finish line two lengths ahead of the Marco Bott-trained Ardakan with plenty in hand.

“He hasn’t run for a while so he was pretty fresh and over-racing a bit,” said Buick. “He stays well and like any good stayer, he has that gear change that sets him apart in this company.

“He’s been a rock-solid horse from day one.”

While having a problem of plenty is not particularly a bad thing Appleby was scratching his head on where to place winners like Nation’s Pride, who capped his Carnival treble with a decisive victory in the Group 3 Dubai Millennium Stakes.

Last seen finishing an impressive second in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, the four-year-old son of Teofilo showed plenty of potentials that also saw him storming into the Group 1 Dubai Turf picture.

“We’ve got Super Saturday to get through first,” said Appleby. “Perhaps is best to leave this horse and go straight to the Dubai Turf, a race that should have a lot of pace and which should suit him. He’s got the class to go for it.”

Earlier in the evening, Appleby’s Godolphin teammate Saeed bin Suroor grabbed his share of the Carnival spotlight when he saddled the first two home in the Jebel Ali Free Zone handicap.

City Walk, ridden by Scotsman Daniel Thudhope, scored by a neck from stable companion Open Mind and Louis Steward.

The meeting commented with the Group 2 Mazrat Al Ruwayah which was won with aplomb by Af Amomayaz to give trainer Oaiss Aboud his first Pattern Race success.

Dutch ace Adrie de Vries rode an absolute blinder aboard the UAE bred to prevail by a neck from fancied Heros de Lagarde and Ray Dawson.


Race 1. Mazrat Al Ruwayah

1. Af Almomayaz.

Race 2. Jebel Ali Free Zone

1. City Walk.

Race 3. UAE Oaks

1., Mimi Kakushi.

Race 4. Lord Glitters Handicap

1. New Kingdom.

Race 5. Nad Al Sheba Trophy

1. Siskany.

Race 6. Dubai Millennium Stakes

1. Nation’s Pride.

Race 7. Jebel Ali Port

1. Golden Goal.

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