Sunday, March 18, 2001
GODOLPHIN SEVEN STARS COMPETITION
The fabulous free-to-enter Godolphin Seven Stars Competition, which has prizes worth over US$500,000, closes for entries on March 23 and the first points can be scored the following day.
Don't delay, go to www.godolphin.com.
GODOLPHIN GO FOR DUBAI WORLD CUP HAT-TRICK
The US$6-million Dubai World Cup is the world's richest horse race and Godolphin is going for a hat-trick after success with Almutawakel in 1999 and the particularly-impressive Dubai Millennium last year.
Godolphin has three contenders this year - Best Of The Bests, Ekraar and Broche.
BEST OF THE BESTS , the four-year-old Machiavellian colt, made six appearances last year and was successful in the Group Two Prix Guillaume d'Ornano over ten furlongs at Deauville in August, where he defeated Kutub by four lengths.
Best Of The Bests ran some other fine races, such as when fourth to Sinndar in the Group One Vodafone Derby at Epsom and third to Giant's Causeway in the Group One Esat Digifone Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.
On his final appearance last season, Best Of The Bests put up an excellent performance to finish third to Observatory in the Group One Queen Elizabeth II Stakes over a mile at Ascot in September.
On his first start this year he was the very impressive winner of the Listed second round of the Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid al Maktoum Challenge over nine furlongs on dirt at Nad Al Sheba on February 8. Best Of The Bests made all to win by 12 lengths.
Simon Crisford, the Godolphin Racing manager, said: "To win the World Cup, he needs to be a much better horse than he was last year.
"Last year he was still a bit weak and although we set him demanding tasks throughout the campaign he performed well.
"We all believe he has improved since last year. He has strengthened, matured and developed into a really top-class performer.
"He looked a natural on the surface in his prep race. We feel he is ready to take on a challenge like this and we are delighted with him. Everything has gone very smoothly in his preparation."
Frankie Dettori, as usual, is his jockey.
Ekraar disappointed when fourth on his first start of the year in the Group Three third round of the Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid al Maktoum Challenge over ten furlongs on dirt on March 1.
The four-year-old Red Ransom colt won his final three races of 2000, all over ten furlongs on turf. A very useful two-year-old, who finished third in the 1999 Group One Racing Post Trophy, Ekraar started last year with a good third in the Group Three thehorsesmouth.co.uk Craven Stakes at Newmarket and was then fourth in the French 2000 Guineas, the Group One Dubai Poule d'Essai des Poulains at Longchamp.
After a two-month break he returned to the racecourse, making all to win a Newbury conditions race in very good style. He then stepped up in grade, capturing the Group Three Petros Rose Of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock most readily.
Ekraar's final start of 2000 came in the Group Three flutter.com Select Stakes at Goodwood which he won convincingly by five lengths from National Anthem, with another four lengths to Right Wing.
Crisford expects Ekraar to improve on his first start of 2001: "Last year Ekraar was very progressive - an improving type of horse - and at the end of the season he looked like he would be a top horse of the future.
"Like Best Of The Bests, he was a very good two-year-old. They both won Pattern races then.
"We were very confident about Ekraar winning his prep race but he ran disappointingly that night. Nothing specific has come to light to explain that run.
"He worked on Friday morning in his usual impressive manner and we have got to go for it.
"Best Of The Bests goes into the race with the stronger credentials, not only based on last year's form in top races, but also based on what he has done this winter.
"Ekraar was creeping up the Group Three ladder last year. But he is a horse we still have a lot of faith in."
Richard Hills will partner Ekraar.
Broche, successful on his only start as a juvenile in a maiden at The Curragh in June 1999, was seventh behind stable companion China Visit in the U.A.E. Derby on his first start of last year.
The Summer Squall colt was then unplaced in the Group One Sagitta 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket in May before winning a ten-furlong conditions race at Doncaster later in the same month. A week later
Broche competed in the French Derby, finishing a good fifth to Holding Court. A busy few weeks for Broche was completed in the Vodafone Derby at Epsom in June when he was unplaced.
On January 18, 2001, he finished fourth to his stable companion China Visit in the Listed Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 over a mile at Nad Al Sheba.
Broche made all in the 12-furlong feature Thoroughbred Handicap at Nad Al Sheba on January 25, recording a comfortable success.
He then finished second to French challenger Hightori in the Group Three third round of the Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid al Maktoum Challenge on March 1.
Crisford commented: " He has surprised us this winter - he has run sufficiently well out here for his rating to go up high enough to qualify for this race. The slot was available for him to run and therefore we will let him take his chance.
"Broche has a lot of natural speed and can be prominent early on. He doesn't have to make the running and he is in the race on his own merits. He might prefer a longer trip and on all known evidence he would not match up to the other two."
David Flores has the ride on Broche.
For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink