Alkumait completed a big race double for His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, smashing the six furlongs course record in the process, when taking the Group 2 Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes on day two of the Dubai Duty Free International Weekend at Newbury Racecourse, UK on Saturday, 19 September.
The meeting marks 25 years of outstanding support for British horseracing by the leading international airport retailer but run this year behind closed doors, forcing the absence of members of Dubai Duty Free’s senior management team for the first time in the history of their sponsorship.
Ridden by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan’s retained jockey, Jim Crowley, Alkumait went from last to first to score three quarters of a length victory over Andrew Balding’s well fancied Fivethousandtoone.
The winning trainer Marcus Tregoning, clearly excited at the colt’s future prospects said, “It is early days for this horse, it was only his third run and he’s still a work in progress. I think he’s pretty smart and he showed a good attitude today.”
The victory provided Jim Crowley with a second Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes and he said of Alkumait, “I was really impressed. He came back a lot better than we went down and switched off nicely in the race. It was all smooth, and he showed a good turn of foot. I would say he is right up there with the best of them this season.”
The double was initiated by the Mark Johnston-trained Erlaqam who returned to winning form in the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup earlier in the afternoon beating four rivals, including Desert Encounter who was bidding to win the race for the third time.
There was also success on the day for Godolphin and H.H Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum with the Godolphin blue carried to victory by William Buick aboard Lazuli in the Group 3 Dubai International Airport World Trophy while Ilaraab took the valuable Dubai Duty Free Handicap.
Friday’s feature saw a return to the winners enclosure of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s familiar maroon and white silks, now registered to H.H Sheikha Al Jalila Racing, when Glorious Journey completed a treble on the day for jockey, James Doyle, in the Listed Dubai Duty Free Cup.