26 February 2018

The Meydan Sprint was one of three races in the 2018 Dubai World Cup Carnival programme to have been upgraded.  Formally a Group 3 contest, the Meydan Sprint is the finale for the five-furlong campaign during the season and it was promoted to a Group 2 race, effectively raising the bar for turf sprinters.

The Ali Rashid Al Rayhi-trained ERTIJAAL (IRE) who won the race in 2017 was sent off the 8/15 favourite. The seven-year-old bay justified favouritism by taking up the running and leading from the early stages of the race. Under jockey Jim Crowley he was ridden three furlongs out and held off a bold late showing from Blue Point (IRE) to score by a head, resulting in a 1-2 Irish-bred success in the Meydan Sprint.

ERTIJAAL (IRE) has now won 11 races under rules, seven of which were won at the UAE track and he has made just short of €1,000,000 in prize-money.

The Group 3 Dubai Millennium Stakes was the next Graded race on the card at Meydan and it was FOLKSWOOD who claimed the €160,000 purse. The Charlie Appleby-trained gelding showcased himself admirably on the world stage last year, winning a Listed contest in Australia before finishing third in the Group 1 Cox Plate. He contests the Group 1 Hatta Stakes on Super Saturday at Meydan, a race he finished runner-up to Decorated Knight in 2017.

The five-year-old bay is a son of Darley sire Exceed and Excel out of the unraced Galileo (IRE) mare Magic Nymph (IRE); herself an own sister to multiple Listed scorer El Salvador (IRE). FOLKSWOOD was Exceed and Excel’s 69th individual Group winner. Exceed and Excel stands at Kildangan Stud in Co. Kildare for a fee of €50,000.

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