Monday, December 9, 2019
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Classy Ihtimal lays down big-race marker

Dubai: Ihtimal, Godolphin’s petite young rising star, served notice that she will be a force to reckon with in the future when posting a dazzling 10 length victory in the $250,000 UAE Oaks at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday.

Ridden with supreme confidence by stable jockey Silvestre de Sousa, the three-year-old daughter of Shamardal was eased into the lead two furlongs from home and she lengthened her stride without her rider having to employ pressure, and pulled away for the easiest of victories.

Ihtimal, who is trained by Saeed Bin Surour, an eight-time winner of the Oaks, was adding a second Classic success to her cache following a similar victory in the UAE 1,000 Guineas three weeks earlier.

Feedyah, trained by Charlie Appley for Godolphin, finished second with Mike de Kock’s Mensoora a length and a half back in third.

“[I’m] so pleased for the horse, she has done it so well,” said de Sousa of the horse’s scintillating display. “She was travelling so well throughout the race and when I asked her to quicken, she found two or three lengths with ease. She’s such a classy horse.

“She’s not very big but you’d be surprise what a big engine she’s got. It’s an absolute pleasure to ride her.”

Bin Surour revealed that while Ihtimal has a lot of options in England, including the Newmarket 1,000 Guineas (G1) on May 14, she could reappear at Meydan to contest the $2million UAE Derby on Dubai World Cup Day, March 29.

Should that plan materialise Ihtimal will bid to become on the second Godolphin filly after Khawlah to complete the UAE Oaks-Derby double.

“She might be small but she has a big heart,” said Bin Surour. “She’s very athletic and just keeps improving. I think she has more to offer and we’re very excited about the prospects.

“She’s one of the best youngsters we have in our stable.”

Result – UAE Oaks

(Fillies, Group 3) $250,000 1900m (All-Weather):

1.Ihtimal (trained by S Bin Surour) ridden by Silvestre de Sousa
2. Feedyah (C Appleby) Mickael Barzalona;
3. Mensoora (M de Kock) Christophe Soumillon
4. Magrooma (M de Kock) R Hughes.

Won by 10lengths, 1 1/2l