Dominant Display From Ihtimal In UAE Oaks

Ihtimal winning the UAE Oaks
Ihtimal winning the UAE Oaks

Ihtimal winning the UAE Oaks

Ihtimal winning the UAE Oaks

Posted 27 February 2014, 18:01 GMT

Ihtimal completed a Classic double with a stunning 10-length victory in the Group Three UAE Oaks Sponsored By Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group over nine and a half furlongs at Meydan, Dubai, on Thursday, February 27.

The Saeed bin Suroor-trained filly, an easy winner of the mile Listed UAE 1000 Guineas Sponsored by Nova, An IPIC Empowered Company, on February 6, was nudged along leaving the stalls by Silvestre de Sousa to race in fourth of the eight runners early on.

She was shuffled back to fifth as the pace slowed after the first two furlongs but progressed around runners to go third approaching the final half-mile.

Ihtimal cruised up to take the lead passing the two-furlong pole and powered clear in a matter of strides, readily opening up daylight over her rivals.

The daughter of Shamardal increased her advantage entering the final furlong before being eased near the line to take the Tapeta contest in 1m 58:51s.

Godolphin's other runner, the Charlie Appleby-trained Feedyah, raced towards the rear under Mickael Barzalona before making headway on the outside of the field turning for home.

She quickened well to go second with a furlong and a half to race and stayed on in the closing stages without troubling Ihtimal.

Saeed bin Suroor said: "Ihtimal ran a huge race and I was very happy with her performance. She showed her class and displayed her impressive turn of foot again.

"The distance suited her and she improved on her win in the UAE 1000 Guineas.

"We will keep the options open for her now. She could head for the UAE Derby on World Cup Night (March 29) or go to Newmarket for the QIPCO 1000 Guineas (May 4).

"We will talk to H H Sheikh Mohammed and he will decide which race to go for."

Silvestre de Sousa commented: "I am so pleased for Ihtimal, who has done really well since she came out to Dubai. I wanted to make sure that she had a nice race and she won by a huge margin.

"I went just behind the leaders entering the first bend but they started to slow the pace so I took the option of taking her round the field. She was travelling so well throughout the race that I had no doubt she would quicken up for me.

"When I let her down, she found two or three lengths and, when I asked, she quickened up. I was very pleased with her.

"The way she won tonight, she would definitely have a chance in the UAE Derby but she has a lot of options and could go straight to Newmarket.

"She's a lovely filly. She's not very big when you look at her but I can't describe how big an engine she has. It's a pleasure to ride a filly like that."

Ihitimal's success was a 10th win in the UAE Oaks for Godolphin following Laoub (2001), Imperial Gesture (2002), Danuta (2003), Satin Kiss (2005), Cocoa Beach (2008), Devotee (2009), Khawlah (2011), Falls Of Lora (2012) and Shuruq (2013).