Featured G3 Dubai Millennium Stakes stays with Godolphin and Royal Fleet
There was an international flavour to the final Friday of the Dubai World Cup Carnival as Batwan swooped for France and Notre Dame picked up another win for America.
Of the 12 countries represented on the seventh night of Carnival action at Meydan Racecourse, three of them emerged with wins, led by Batwan’s success in the Lincoln Nautilus Handicap, over 1200metres on turf. Trained in France by Nicolas Caullery, the seven-year-old extended his trainer’s already excellent record in Dubai to four wins from 16 runners with a narrow success over Jadwal. Already a winner over this course and distance last month, Batwan again arrived late on the scene under Mickael Barzalona, winning by a short-head.
“He’s got some class – he’s been placed in Group races in France”, said the rider. “It’s very satisfying when you get the gap and the horse does the rest for you.”
Team Caullery confirmed that Batwan would not run on Super Saturday next week, and might therefore be finished for this season in Dubai.
Notre Dame could well return next week, however, after the Doug O’Neill-trained gelding gave his handler the fourth success of a remarkable Carnival. Ridden by Antonio Fresu, he overcame a slow start and was soon controlling the Lincoln Aviator Handicap, over 1200metres on dirt. The eventual winning margin was two lengths from the Bhupat Seemar-trained Behavioural Bias.
“I managed to get him out and I sat two deep and the horse was just fighting all the way”, said Fresu. “He started hanging a little bit but everything was under control.”
The night’s feature was the Group 3 Dubai Millennium Stakes, over 2000metres on turf, in which Charlie Appleby’s Star Safari was defending his title. With Andrea Atzeni replacing the isolating William Buick, he went close but was outbattled by stablemate Royal Fleet, who gained a first Group success by a short head under James Doyle.