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G2 Al Rashidiya
Zakouski Grants Godolphin Three Winners at Meydan
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Zakouski (GB) (Shamardal) was one of a trio of winners for Godolphin on Thursday evening, as he scored in the G2 Al Rashidiya over a grassy1800 metres. Covered up in the garden spot a few lengths off the pace set by Court House (Ire) (Dawn Approach Ire), Zakouski enjoyed a dream trip while saving ground. Shaken up leaving the bend, the Godolphin colourbearer swung off the fence and tackled Court House just under a furlong from home. He clawed his way past that stubborn foe and went on to win by 3/4 of a length. Noticeably warm in the preliminaries, the grey Lord Glitters (Fr) (Whipper) made a stirring late run and just missed second by a nose. “I always thought the race was set up nicely for him,” said William Buick, who was winning his third race on the card in tandem with trainer Charlie Appleby, having taken the second with Star Safari (GB) (Sea The Stars Ire) and the third with Secret Protector. “The pace was nice and even, he did well, he really knuckled down and showed a lot of good qualities. This flat track and nine furlongs really suited him well.” Added Appleby, “We felt this race would be run with a bit more of a sensible pace and William got a lovely ride here today. We have stepped up in trip for the horse, so we will look at Jebel Hatta for him on Super Saturday.” A novice winner at first asking at Kempton in November of 2018, the bay resurfaced after a lengthy break to take fifth in the G3 Craven S. in April of 2019. Gelded, Zakouski returned 267 days later and scored in a Meydan handicap last January, before adding a neck victory in the G2 Zabeel Mile on Feb. 20. Given another 200-plus day absence, the now 5-year-old gelding returned to be fourth in Newmarket's G2 Challenge S. on Oct. 9, and won the Listed Marshal S. there on Halloween. Trainer Charlie Appleby transferred Zakouski back to the desert and he ran second to rival Lord Glitters in the G2 Singspiel S. on Jan. 21. Pedigree Notes The late Shamardal has left 151 black-type winners so far, and Zakouski is one of 77 group winners for the former Darley sire. One of three group winners out of his dam, Zakouski (GB) is a half-brother to Australian Group 3 winner and G1 Golden Rose S. runner-up and sire Albrecht (Aus) (Redoute's Choice Aus), as well as King's Command (GB) (Dubawi Ire), a winner of the G3 Prix Thomas Bryon. Zakouski's female family is one of the best in Australasia, as his dam is a full-sister to Australian Horse of the Year Lonhro (Aus) (Octagonal NZ), as well as MG1SW Niello (Aus) (Octagonal NZ) and MSW Shannara (Aus) (Octagonal NZ). New Zealand champion 3-year-old and G1 NZ 2000 Guineas hero Catalyst (NZ) (Darci Brahma NZ) is also in the extended family. Thursday, Meydan, DubaiAL RASHIDIYA SPONSORED BY EMIRATES.COM-G2, $163,000, Meydan, 2-11, 3yo/up, 9fT, 1:48.39, gd.1—ZAKOUSKI (GB), 126, g, 5, by Shamardal1st Dam: O'Giselle (Aus), by Octagonal (NZ)2nd Dam: Shadea (NZ), by Straight Strike                3rd Dam: Concia (NZ), by First ConsulO/B-Godolphin (GB); T-Charlie Appleby; J-William Buick.$97,800. Lifetime Record: SW-Eng, 8-5-1-0, $396,292. *1/2 toAlbrecht (Aus) (Redoute's Choice Aus), GSW & G1SP-Aus,$454,634; and King's Command (GB) (Dubawi Ire), GSW-Fr.Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick   Rating: A.2–Court House (Ire), 126, g, 6, Dawn Approach (Ire)–Crossanza(Ire), by Cape Cross (Ire). (€38,000 RNA Wlg '15 GOFNOV;€200,000 Ylg '16 GOFORB). O-Rabbah Racing; B-Nanallac Stud(IRE); T-Simon Crisford. $32,600.3–Lord Glitters (Fr), 129, g, 8, Whipper–Lady Glitters (Fr), byHomme de Loi (Ire). (€25,000 Ylg '14 AR14; €270,000 HRA '17ARJUN). O-Geoff & Sandra Turnbull; B-SCA Elevage deTourgeville & Mme Hilary Erculiani (FR); T-David O'Meara.$16,300.Margins: 3/4, NO, 6.Also Ran: Bless Him (Ire), Cap Francais (GB), Kinross (GB), Dream Castle (GB). Click for the Racing Post chart or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO.
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‘Warrior’ Takes Aim at Al Maktoum Challenge R2
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Dubai Warrior (GB) | Erika Rasmussen/DRC By Christina Bossinakis Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum's Dubai Warrior (GB) (Dansili GB) has shown an affinity for the all-weather surface–having recorded six career victories over the surface–and will attempt to translate that form to the dirt in Thursday's G2 Al Maktoum Challenge R2 at Meydan. Kicking off 2020 with a win in Lingfield's G3 Winter Derby S. on the all-weather in February, the John Gosden trainee finished fifth in Sandown's Listed Coral Gala S. over the summer before returning with a comfortable score in the Nov. 14 Listed Churchill S. at Lingfield. In his latest trip to post, he finished third behind Sangarius (GB) (Kingman GB) and Bangkok (Ire) (Australia GB), who won this season's renewal of the Winter Derby last weekend. Frankie Dettori, who has won a record five editions of the race, has the mount for the 5-year-old's seasonal debut. “He has been pleasing in his work and works nicely enough on the dirt,” said Gosden. “Obviously, a race is a different matter, so we will find out if he handles it Thursday.” Thegreatcollection (Saint Anddan) rounded out 2020 with a comfortable victory in Meydan's Listed Dubai Creek Mile Dec. 17 and returned in the new year with a runner-up finish in the Jan. 21 G2 Al Maktoum Challenge R1. Trained by Doug Watson, the Zaur Sekrekov-owned gelding reunites with Pat Cosgrave. “We have been keen to step him up from 1600 meters, so this is the ideal opportunity,” Watson said. “Obviously, it is a good race to stretch him out. I think it will suit him, but it is a strong race.” Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum's Blown By Wind (GB) (Invincible Spirit Ire), conditioned by Salem bin Ghadayer, returned from a 3 1/2-month respite to finish third in a Meydan handicap over a mile Jan. 7 and took a step forward off of that to win his latest, the G3 Jebel Ali Mile Jan. 22. The trainer is also represented by Group 3 scorer Capezzano (Bernardini) and listed winner Firnas (GB) (Dubawi Ire). Bin Ghadayer said, “Blown By Wind delighted us at Jebel Ali and has been working well since. Capezzano is also going nicely at home, we just need him to transfer that back to the course.” He added, “Firnas too is in good shape. He is tough and consistent.” Also on Thursday's card at Meydan, Lord Glitters (Fr) (Whipper) attempts to follow up on a confident win last time out in the Jan. 21 G2 Singspiel S. in the G2 Al Rashidiya over this course and distance. The winner of the 2019 renewal of the G1 Queen Anne S. finished third in a pair of group tests at York last summer before finishing runner up behind multiple Group 1 winning Addeybb (Ire) (Pivotal GB) in Ayr's Listed Doonside Cup S. in September. He concluded the season with a pair of off the board finishes, including a sixth in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II S. at Ascot in October. “That was brilliant in the Singspiel; to travel an 8-year-old and win a big prize was just great,” said trainer David O'Meara. “The penalty does not help, but he has remained in great form.” Godolphin's Zakouski (GB) (Shamardal) annexed the G2 Zabeel Mile over this turf course one year ago before spending much of the ensuing season on the sidelines. Fourth in his return to action in the G2 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards Challenge S. at Newmarket Oct. 9, the 5-year-old bounced back to take that course's Listed Ben Marshall S. Oct. 30. This season, he was second behind Lord Glitters in last month's Singspiel and William Buick will try to have the gelding to top the early favorite this time. “We were obviously pleased with Zakouski's first outing of the year in the Singspiel S., when he produced a good effort,” said trainer Charlie Appleby. “He has come on for that run and a slightly improved performance should put him bang there.” Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts. This story was posted in Shared News Europe and tagged Blown By Wind (GB), Dubai Warrior (GB), G2 Al Maktoum Challenge R2, G2 Al Rashidiya, Godolphin, John Gosden, Lord Glitters (Fr), Meydan, Thegreatcollection, Zakouski (GB).
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