1-2 FOR IRISH-BREDS IN MEYDAN SPRINT
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
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.