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Godolphin Dominates Again on 10th Night of Carnival

Godolphin’s dominance on the Meydan Racecourse turf continued in force on the Feb. 9 World Cup Carnival program as Sheikh Mohammed’s legions won two of the three races they contested on the surface, including the two features.

The blue-clad home team won four of five turf races a week earlier and all four a week before that.

Great Truth , the odds-on favorite in the international wagering, put a head in front of Frost at Dawn in the final jumps to capture the 1,200-meter (about six furlongs) Dubai Trophy on the turf. With the benefit of the Carnival’s dominant connections, trainer Charlie Appleby and jockey William Buick, the Dubawi  colt raced in the middle of the 10-horse field down the straight turf, worked into contention in the final 150 meters and barely prevailed.

It was his second run of the Carnival, following a fourth-place finish in January.

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“He probably needed that run slightly,” Buick said of Great Truth’s previous start. “This was a similar sort of race but he’s probably more of a seven-furlong horse than a six-furlong horse.”

One race later it was the same connections headed for the winner’s enclosure after Ruling Dynasty easily beat another Godolphin runner, Al Nafir, in the Vazirabad Handicap at 2,410 meters (about 1 1/2 miles) on the turf. 

Ruling Dynasty wins the 2024 Vazirabad Handicap at Meydan Racecourse
Photo: Dubai Racing Club

Ruling Dynasty wins the 2024 Vazirabad Handicap at Meydan Racecourse

Al Nafir, under Mickael Barzalona, carried a seven-length advantage over the field turning for home and only grudgingly yielded to his stablemate, who then ran on to win by 2 3/4 lengths. Al Nafir held second with two other Godolphin blue-bearers, Global Heat  and Military March , finishing fifth and last, respectively, of eight.

Ruling Dynasty finished 10th in his Carnival debut in December at the same trip.

“Charlie put blinkers on him just to help him focus and it worked,” Buick said. “When Al Nafir went clear down the back, I didn’t think he would stop. But we picked him up well in the end.

“He (Ruling Dynasty) is a decent handicapper. Let’s see if he can take any of this form back to the U.K.”

Wild Tiger, a Frankel   gelding trained for Godolphin by Saeed Bin Suroor, was best-fancied in the 1,600-meter (about one mile) Dubai Trade but could only muster a second-place showing behind Mountbatten after the two dueled through much of the stretch.

The other two turf contests on the 10th night of the Carnival were run without Godolphin contenders.

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