With Godolphin’s Group 1 winner Royal Marine slowly away and immediately finding traffic problems, the UAE 2,000 Guineas Trial, over the same mile dirt course and distance as the first colts Classic, was left at the mercy of the progressive Walking Thunder on the second night of the 2019 Dubai World Cup Carnival.
Winner of both his previous starts as a juvenile, the Ahmad Bin Harmash-trained Walking Thunder was drawn widest of all but never looked in any trouble under Connor Beasley, the pair storming clear in the straight to score by nine lengths.
Beasley said: “This horse is improving all the time and learning on the job. He did that very well and must have a live chance in the UAE 2,000 Guineas.”
Bin Harmash added: “We changed plans with him because, after a month off, he was almost too well at home. The UAE 2,000 Guineas is next and perhaps then the UAE Derby.”
Of Royal Marine, jockey Christophe Soumillon said: “We missed the break and were always struggling. He’ll have needed that run.””
No stopping North America
The Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge R1, was turned into a procession by North America, having his first start since disappointing in the 2018 Dubai World Cup.
Third in this race 12 months ago behind subsequent World Cup winner Thunder Snow and Heavy Metal, who was unable to lead this time, North America was never headed under Richard Mullen this time and won by nine lengths.
The winning jockey said: “Considering we thought he’d need the run and is better over further we have to be delighted with that.
“I was always happy out in front and could not believe how well I was travelling or how far clear I was. Hopefully we can get to World Cup night in this kind of form.”
A thrilling 6f turf sprint, in which six of the 13 runners held a realistic chance approaching the line, was won by Dream Today on his debut for Jamie Osborne and The Melbourne 10 syndicate.
Osborne said of Chris Hayes’s mount: “A furlong out I thought he was beaten but he really battled back and has done that well enough in the end.”
Fortune too good
The inaugural running of the Dubai Trophy, a 7f conditions race for three-year-olds, was won by Godolphin’s Good Fortune, a first winner at this year’s carnival for Charlie Appleby and James Doyle.
The New Approach colt was chased home by David Simcock’s Woven who, under Jim Crowley, was perhaps a bit unlucky having appeared to meet trouble in running soon after the start.
Appleby said: “We brought him to Dubai because we think he’s improving. He has a great attitude and James rode him very well.
“He’ll be better over further so will go for the Meydan Classic over a mile and that will probably be his carnival but he will stay further back in Europe.”
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