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Zapateo gets her day in the sun following G1 Galaxy thriller


Consistent mare Zapateo surpassed her illustrious half-brother Osborne Bulls with a breakthrough G1 success in an exhilarating finish to the Galaxy at Rosehill on Saturday.

Osborne Bulls, who now spends his days as a flagbearer for Godolphin Lifetime Care, endeared himself to a legion of racing fans and went agonizingly close to G1 glory with five consecutive runner-up finishes.

Zapateo had built up an admirable race record with four previous Group wins before her latest success, and the daughter of Brazen Beau was delivered perfectly by Kerrin McEvoy to score by a short head over Sunshine In Paris.

Having broken her G1 duck, Zapateo has several options going forwards, including the G1 T J Smith Stakes at Randwick next month – a race in which Osborne Bulls finished, unsurprisingly, second in 2019.

Bernardini filly Tarifa continued an unbeaten start to her three-year-old season and booked her Kentucky Oaks place with a battling victory in Saturday’s G2 Fair Grounds Oaks. She will now hope to emulate Pretty Mischievous, who graduated to Classic glory at Churchill Downs after finishing second in the Fair Grounds Oaks 12 months ago.

Oaklawn Park has proven a rich source of winners for Godolphin in recent years, with Dubai World Cup winner Mystic Guide and Essential Quality both scoring at the track. First Mission and Nash also look set for bigger things following their Stakes wins at the Arkansas venue on Saturday.

First Mission rebounded from a disappointing effort in the Pegasus World Cup as he readily took the G3 Essex Handicap. The Street Sense colt could return to the same track for next month’s G2 Oaklawn Handicap. The G2 Alysheba Stakes on the Kentucky Oaks undercard is another option.

Nash had run well in three Fair Grounds appearances over the winter and the son of Medagia d’Oro gained a deserved first Stakes success with an easy win in the Hot Springs Stakes. The Kentucky Derby looks unlikely for the Churchill Downs maiden winner, although he may head to the track for the G2 Pat Day Mile on the same day.

Dubai World Cup Night dominates the international scene this week and Godolphin will have strong representation in the evening’s turf races. Rebel’s Romance features among a stellar field for the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic, with Measured Time and Real World lining up in the G1 Dubai Turf. Star Of Mystery goes for glory in the G1 Al Quoz Sprint, while Trawlerman, Siskany and Passion And Glory form a strong team for the G2 Dubai Gold Cup.