The Group 1 third and final leg of the Purebred Arabian Al Maktoum Challenge over 2000m on the all-weather, was won by the Majed Al Jahouri-trained Raaziq, produced to lead in the final strides by Frenchman, Olivier Peslier.
The pair headed the Erwan Charpy-trained Versac PY virtually on the line to maintain the Al Jahouri’s remarkable winning record in Group 1 races this season, and to continue a frustrating run of seconds in big races at Meydan Racecourse for Versac PY, owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Paul Hanagan tracked the pace on Versac PY with Peslier content to bide his time with the Munjiz-bred Raaziq much further back in the field in a steadily run race.
When Hanagan went for home about 500m out, the pair were shooting clear and the race looked over until Peslier sent his mount in pursuit and they snared Hanagan’s charge in the dying strides. AF Lafeh was third in but did not challenge the leading pair.
Al Jahouri trained the winner for HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nayan, and has been responsible for the winners of every round of the Al Maktoum Challenge this season.
“We were very hopeful as we know he is a nice horse and has run well in both his previous UAE starts behind our very good horse, Rabbah De Carrere.
“That was a good performance and both this winner and Rabbah De Carrere will be here for the Kahayla Classic in three weeks, perhaps with one more.”
Peslier was a late jockey booking, replacing the suspended Silvestre De Sousa who also missed the winning ride on Godolphin’s Shuruq in the Group 3 Burj Nahaar.
Saeed bin Suroor saddled Godolphin’s first Group 1 winner of 2014 when he landed the 2000m concluding round of the Al Maktoum Challenge for a tenth time with Prince Bishop in Super Saturday’s feature race.
Ridden by Kieren Fallon, as he was four weeks ago in the middle round, Prince Bishop was settled in midfield before being asked for more as the runners swept for home, claiming the US$400,000 prize money.
The Satish Seemar-trained Surfer, third in this race last year, hit the front just over 300m out but was run out of it in the final 100m by Prince Bishop. Sanshaawes, trained by South African Mike de Kock, ran on well to take second, with Surfer third in the race again.
A delighted Bin Suroor, completing a treble after the earlier victories of Shuruq in the Burj Nahaar and Excellent Result in the Dubai City Of Gold, said: “We have always really liked this horse and he seems to have improved this season. His win in the middle round was a good one but this was a better race and we are delighted with him.
“All being well, we will bring him back for the Dubai World Cup itself in three weeks.”
Bin Suroor has won this race with three subsequent Dubai World Cup winners – Dubai Millennium (2000), Street Cry (2002) and Electrocutionist (2006).