Mendip wins the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1
Mendip wins the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1

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.

You can’t give a start of that sort in most circumstances, but this was a Group race, and included several Group One performers, Mendip, Fencing Master and My Indy among them.

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

#

Margin

Horse

Kg

Dr

Jockey

Trainer

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

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