Dubai Emirati handler Saeed Bin Surour stole the limelight with a hat-trick of winners on Super Saturday, highlighted by Prince Bishop’s breathtaking victory in round three of the $400,000 Al Maktoum Challenge (G1) on Saturday.
The Godolphin veteran had been a dominant force at the lead-up event to the $27.5 million Dubai World Cup meeting in three weeks, and he once more demonstrated why he is held in the highest regard with a string of successes before a spellbound crowd at the Meydan.
“Honestly, it’s hard to describe how I feel , it’s totally overwhelming,” he said. “We came here pretty confident, but to win three races is special. It sets us up nicely for the Dubai World Cup meeting, hopefully we can continue the strong form on the big day.”
The high point of Bin Surour’s three-timer, which also encompassed wins by Shuruq in the Group 3 Burj Nahaar and Excellent Result in the Group 2 Dubai City of Gold, was undoubtedly Prince Bishop’s victory in a race that is acknowledged as a prep for the $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1).
The race was billed as a showdown between the Bishop and his stable companion African Story, whom he had beaten in round two of the Al Maktoum Challenge three weeks ago, but it was hard to miss the winner’s flair as he once again demolished his rivals to lay down a marker for the Dubai World Cup.
South African-trained Shanshaawes, a two-time winner at Meydan this season, was a length and a quarter back in second while Satish Seemar’s Surfer finished third, three quarters of a length behind.
African Story did not have the best run in the race and could only finish eighth in the hands of William Buick, deputising for the banned Godolphin pilot Silvestre de Sousa.
Prince Bishop was handed a third shot at the Dubai World Cup by his trainer Bin Surour, having run 10th behind Japan’s Victoire Pisa in 2011 and seventh to stable companion Monterosso the following year.
However, Kieron Fallon issued a huge boast on Saturday by saying that felt Prince Bishop was good enough to win the Dubai World Cup at the third time of asking.
“He was very impressive. Obviously he’s a horse that’s training well and going the right way,” said the Irishman. “He was so impressive the last time, look at the way he ran today. He was focused all through the race, he had his ears pricked and hopefully we can get him to World Cup night sound and do the same again.”