Click above to watch Cityscape winning the Dubai Duty Free (G1)…
(Image : Oliver Clarke/Gulf News - Footage : Dubai Racing Meydan)
US$5,000,000 DUBAI DUTY FREE (Group 1)
Meydan, Turf, 1800m
31 March 2012
In the lead up to Saturday’s G1 Dubai Duty Free over 1800m at Meydan, there was at least some question as to how, or rather whether, Prince Khalid Abdullah’s Cityscape (GB) (Selkirk) would A: see out the 1800 meters of the race at his first attempt and B: handle reasonably quick ground.
The lightly raced chestnut with the big bald face answered in no uncertain terms, streaking clear from pacesetting Await The Dawn (USA) (Giant’s Causeway) in the upper stretch before reporting home an easy 4 1/4-length winner. “I can’t believe it,” commented winning trainer Roger Charlton. “The race panned out absolutely as we thought it would. Await The Dawn weakened pretty quickly to leave us in front plenty early enough, but that wasn’t a problem.”
A well-beaten eighth at 50-1 in the G1 Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville August 15, Cityscape was far too good for his rivals in the G3 Solonaway Stakes at The Curragh September 11, winning by 2 1/2 lengths in the soft. Shipped to Milan for the G1 Gran Premio Vittorio di Capua 13 days later, he missed by a nose to the top-class Dick Turpin (Ire) (Arakan), then relished the soft going at Saint-Cloud to land the G3 Prix Perth October 30. Connections had the misfortune of drawing the 12 hole for the G1 Hong Kong Mile December 11, but despite racing five wide on the turn, nearly got the job done while failing by a nose.
Cityscape was away smartly from the 11 hole, and jockey James Doyle used his mount just a touch to get over to be forwardly placed three wide, as Await The Dawn settled into an easy pace up front. Given a bit more rein as they approached the turn, the 6-year-old tugged his way past Musir (Aus) (Redoute’s Choice) up into second, and, by the time they’d reached the 700-meter marker, Cityscape was sent to the head of affairs. Shaken up at the quarter pole while traveling best of anything, he quickened clear and was never in any danger while establishing a new course record. The Mike de Kock-trained Mutahadee (Ire) (Encosta De Lago) and Mahmoud Al Zarooni-trained City Style (USA) (City Zip) completed an outstanding run at the Carnival, finishing second and third, respectively.
“This horse has an amazing turn of foot,” the winning jockey said. “He just kept finding; he was even idling a little in the closing stages. It was a great feeling and the biggest day in my life.”
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News