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Patience pays dividends as Lemon Pop strikes in February Stakes


Lemon Pop rewarded the perseverance shown by connections as he registered Godolphin’s first G1 success of 2023 with a superb win in the February Stakes at Tokyo on Sunday.

The one-time Kentucky Derby prospect was forced to miss almost the entirety of his Classic season through injury before graduating through the grades to earn his seat at the top table. In posting a length and a half victory in the JRA dirt highlight, he took his record to eight wins and three seconds from 11 starts.

Victory in the February Stakes earned Lemon Pop an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic but the five-year-old has never raced beyond a mile, and one option is to drop back in distance for the Dubai Golden Shaheen at Meydan in late March.

Dubai World Cup Night is firmly on the agenda for Nations Pride, who kicked off his four-year-old season with victory in the G3 Dubai Millennium Stakes – one of four Godolphin winners at Meydan on Friday.

Last season’s Saratoga Derby victor could head to the Dubai Turf or Dubai Sheema Classic and his target will be decided after Super Saturday – a fixture that is set to feature fellow turf heavyweights Rebel’s Romance, Real World, Master Of The Seas and Valiant Prince.

Siskany booked his World Cup Night place as well as he enjoyed the perfect warm-up for the Dubai Gold Cup with victory in the G3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy.

Cylinder added his name to an exciting group of Godolphin two-year-olds under consideration for next month’s Golden Slipper following an impressive win in Saturday’s G2 Silver Slipper Stakes at Rosehill.

In North America, Pretty Mischievous secured her spot in the Kentucky Oaks as she gamely won the G2 Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds on Saturday. The Brendan Walsh-trained filly has now won four of her five starts and looks set to have one more run before heading to Churchill Downs.

Lake Lucerne scored on the same card in the Albert M Stall Memorial Stakes, providing Dubawi with a landmark 250th individual Stakes winner in the process.

Following an exciting return to action in the Apollo Stakes, Anamoe will return to Randwick this Saturday in search of an eighth G1 victory in the Chipping Norton Stakes. In Secret will also be aiming to continue an unbeaten start to her autumn campaign on the same card as she tackles the G1 Surround Stakes.

Fillies take centre stage on the penultimate fixture of the Dubai World Cup Carnival on Friday. With The Moonlight will be hoping to complete the Cape Verdi-Balanchine double, while Mawj will be looking to follow up Jumeirah Fillies Classic success in the Jumeirah Fillies Guineas.

One Nation and Highbank feature among the contenders for the Jumeirah Derby, won last year by Nations Pride, with Trawlerman, Dubai Future and White Moonlight making up a select team heading to Riyadh for Group races on Saturday’s Saudi Cup undercard.