Click above to watch the $US200,000 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1
(Image and Footage : Dubai Racing)
DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL 2011
The Summerhill mare, Garden Verse, has two runners competing in Dubai this season. The one, Mahubo, has already tasted victory and the other, Imbongi, ran with distinction last night at the opening of the 2011 Racing Carnival; without quite getting there.
Mahubo (Zulu for “hymns”) was a reassuring victor of his first start, and looks set to be a solid earner through the next three months. But it was the effort of last season’s victor ludorum, Imbongi, that really got the juices going.
Mike de Kock did not rate his chances after a dismal first outing, and said he was still a bit on the soft side. But like all his mother’s children, he has that one element that no good racehorse can do without : guts.
This time Imbongi jumped well, but within a furlong he was jostled to the back, and found himself trailing by the best part of ten lengths.
The old grit came back to Imbongi when they turned for home, and somehow he conjured a weaving whirlwind of a run down the Meydan stretch, to catch all but Mendip. Some run, and though seven now, this boy ran like a juvenile.
Imbongi means “praise singer” in Zulu and he was deserving. The jostling to the back was nobody’s fault just one of those things that happens in dense traffic. And what is evident, is that the Tapeta surface at Meydan gives closers the kind of grip that enhances acceleration.
It was a big night for Mike de Kock and his principal patron, Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum. He wore the “yellow jersey” twice with Reem and Our Giant (former South African Grade One ace), and was second and third a number of times. De Kock must already be back in his customary seat at the head of the UAE Trainers’ Log.
And the Sheikh has a clutch of top class daughters from the world’s best Sire, Galileo. Reem, Mahbooba, and the recently acquired Igugu, arguably the best of the lot.
$US 200,000 AL MAKTOUM CHALLENGE ROUND 1
Meydan, Tapeta, 1600m
13 January 2011
|1||0.00||MENDIP (USA)||57.0||1||Frankie Dettorie||Saeed bin Suroor|
|2||2.25||IMBONGI (SAF)||57.0||10||Christophe Soumillon||Mike de Kock|
|3||0.25||WIN FOR SURE (GER)||57.0||8||Gregory Benoist||Xavier Nakkachdji|
|4||Sh||COLONIAL (IRE)||57.0||4||Ted Durcan||Saeed bin Suroor|
|5||1.25||MR BROCK (SAF)||57.0||3||Kevin Shea||Mike de Kock|
|6||1.75||GREEN COAST (IRE)||57.0||11||Tadhg O’Shea||Doug Watson|
|7||0.25||FROZEN POWER (IRE)||57.0||7||Royston Ffrench||Mahmoud Al Zarooni|
|8||1.00||SEA LORD (IRE)||57.0||12||Richard Mullen||Mahmoud Al Zarooni|
|9||1.25||MY INDY (ARG)||57.0||6||Patrick Cosgrave||Mubarak bin Shafya|
|10||1.25||KING OF ROME (IRE)||57.0||5||Patrick Dobbs||Mike de Kock|
|11||Sh||MABAIT (GB)||57.0||14||Kieran Fallon||Luca Cumani|
|12||1.25||MAC LOVE (GB)||57.0||9||Michael Fenton||Stef Higgins|
|13||6.25||FENCING MASTER (GB)||57.0||2||Ryan Moore||Herman Brown|
|14||18.00||STORM ULTRALIGHT (ARG)||57.0||13||Ahmad Ajtebi||Mahmoud Al Zarooni|