The seventh night of the 2020 Dubai World Cup Carnival, a US$1.05 million affair was headlined by the Gr. 3 Firebreak Stakes won by Bin Ghayader pupil Capezzano and the Gr. 2 Balanchine won by the top-class filly Magic Lilly.
The $200,000 Firebreak Stakes was made marginally less exciting when race favourite Muntazah scratched earlier in the day, but fireworks were still in order with the resurfacing of beaten Dubai World Cup favourite Capezzano returning in a big way, putting his foes to bed with a seven-length gate-to-wire victory under Mickael Barzalona and showing why he is officially rated 117.
The Sultan Ali-owned son of Bernardini won for the fourth time over the 1600m distance at Meydan, including three handicaps over the previous two DWC Carnivals, and improved his record to six wins from 16 starts. He carved out 400m fractions of 24.96, 47.76 and 1:11.91 en route to finishing up in a stakes record 1:36.23 and winning by seven lengths. Dubai Creek Mile winner Secret Ambition overcame a poor break to finish second, three-quarters of a length to the good of Capezzano’s stablemate Matterhorn. Ambassadorial, Quip, Fight On, Walking Thunder and Thegreatcollection completed the order of finish.
Winner of last year’s Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge R3 over Thunder Snow, Capezzano was last seen finishing last of 12 in Meydan’s biggest event but has multiple massive events on his radar in 2020. In addition to redemption in the Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline on March 28, he is taking aim on the Saudi Cup on Feb. 29 for trainer Salem bin Ghadayer.
The Gr. 2 US$250,000 Balanchine, like the past two years, was won by the Cape Verdi winner, as Godolphin’s Magic Lily. The Charlie Appleby pupil settled comfortably behind the pace-setting Maamora and keeping Cape Verdi runner-up Nisreen within eye-shot. Eventually, she overtook her rivals in a thrilling finish, winning by 1¼ lengths.
Godolphin’s UAE-based 3YO Ya Hayati romped to victory in the US$100,000 Meydan Trophy for trainer Charlie Appleby, winning in determined fashion under William Buick by one length.
HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Waady held off a stubborn American invader Torosay in the 1000m handicap giving Doug Watson a 1-2 finish. Second, last out to very highly regarded Equilateral in the Dubai Dash over this trip, he finished up the 1000m in a swift 57.24 seconds with Jim Crowley aboard for his main employer.
The winner won for the eighth time in 31 starts and gave six-time UAE champion trainer Watson a sixth winner of the 2020 DWC Carnival. Eleven-year-old Group 2 winner Caspian Prince held on for third in the thrilling affair. A trip to Super Saturday may be in order for the 8-year-old son of Approve and the Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint the course and 1200m distance prep for the Group 1 $2 million Al Quoz Sprint sponsored by Azizi Developments.
In the nightcap, over 2410m on turf, Godolphin’s Eynhallow may have been one of the less-regarded of the eight entered (of 16 runners) from the boys in blue, but he was ridden with a favourite’s confidence by Mickael Barzalona, making all with style and giving the jockey a double on the night. Trainer Charlie and Appleby closed out the card with a triple in the process and the son of Nathaniel won his third from 17 starts.