Hunter's Light Shines In Dubai Millennium
Hunter's Light continued his bright start to the year at Meydan, UAE, with an easy win in record time in the Listed Dubai Millennium Stakes Sponsored By Meydan Sobha over a mile and a quarter on turf on Thursday, February 19.
The Saeed bin Suroor-trained seven-year-old, successful under top-weight in a handicap over the same course and distance on his seasonal debut on January 29, broke well under James Doyle and soon settled as fifth of the 10 runners towards the inside.
He was relegated a place leaving the back straight but travelled strongly turning for home and went second before cruising up to take the lead with more than a furlong and a half remaining.
The son of Dubawi soon opened up a clear advantage and was eased in the closing stages to beat Umgiyo by a length and three quarters in a new course record of 2m 0.67s. There was another four and a quarter lengths back to the third, Mr Pommeroy.
Saeed bin Suroor commented: "Hunter's Light won well and I was happy with the way he finished the race.
"His next target will be the Jebel Hatta (Group One, Super Saturday, March 7, nine furlongs) and then we will see about Dubai World Cup night."
James Doyle said: "I am delighted for Hunter's Light and this was another nice performance from him.
"He needed his last run but that was a real confidence booster and today he has shown what he can do.
"I was happy with the way the race unfolded. You would hope that they might go slightly quicker but it is always the case on turf - the pace does slacken when the horses sort themselves out, hence we get racing a bit further out than usual.
"Hunter's Light is a very strong traveller and is very willing. He is an exuberant traveller, who picked up well in the straight and kept galloping.
"He has the options of the Dubai Turf and Dubai Sheema Classic on World Cup night but I would just worry about his stamina. I don't think that he would stay the 12 furlongs in the Dubai Sheema Classic but we will all sit down and put our heads together.
"I couldn't be happier with how things are going. I am riding for the right trainer in Saeed bin Suroor, who is doing great, and Godolphin is going from strength to strength."
Hunter's Light is Godolphin's second successive winner of the Dubai Millennium Stakes following Tasaday, who took the inaugural running in 2014.