Godolphin ponder Meydan mission for Dream Castle

Dream Castle looked in impressive form on Super Saturday. (Reuters)
Updated 10 March 2019
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Godolphin ponder Meydan mission for Dream Castle

LONDON: Godolphin will decide whether to race Dream Castle in the Group 1 Dubai Turf on World Cup night
at Meydan.
The Saeed bin Suroor-trained five-year-old won the Jebel Hatta on Super Saturday to open up the possibility of more success in two weeks’ time. Ridden by Christophe Soumillon, Dream Castle outfought fellow Godolphin horses Wootton and First Contact to win the nine-furlong turf highlight.
The son of Frankel had it all to do coming back from second-last with two furlongs to go, but displayed an impressive turn of speed to storm to victory, as he won by a length and a quarter from Wootton in 1 minute 48.17 seconds on good ground with First Contact in third.
Now the Dubai-based stable has to decide if Dream Castle will go for more glory on World Cup night.
“Dream Castle is doing really well and he reminds me of Benbatl, who also won the Singspiel Stakes and Al Rashidiya last year before finishing second in this race,” bin Suroor said.
“In the old days, some of the jockeys would get off Dream Castle and say that he was a sprinter and should be racing over five or six furlongs, but I believed that this distance would be his best trip.
“We have campaigned him over nine furlongs this year and he has shown his class, winning a Group 3, a Group 2 and now a Group 1 race. It is a great result for us.
“We will leave it to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed to make a decision, but we could take him to the G1 Dubai Turf (9f) on Dubai World Cup night.
“All of the team work very well and this victory gives us lots of confidence.”
Soumillon, who is looking for a good Word Cup night on March 30, declared: “The last two wins were quite impressive and I was really confident with him, even with the nine draw.
“The race went well for us, with a nice pace. When I saw I was behind Wootton, I was very confident, because I knew he was going to take me quite far.
“When I asked Dream Castle to go, he really quickened sharply. After I hit the front, he was looking around for a while. He is a really different horse compared with last year, when he was
a colt.”
Meanwhile, Godolphin are hopeful Old Persian can grab glory on World Cup night with the four-year-old going in the Group 1 Sheema Classic. Ridden by William Buick, the Dubawi colt pipped
Racing History on the line in a thrilling finish to win the Group 2 Dubai City of Gold race. That has made the “Boys in Blue” excited about more success on World Cup night.
“Old Persian has a bright future ahead of him — he is already a three-time G2 winner now, having won at Royal Ascot and beaten Cross Counter at York before tonight,” trainer Charlie Appleby said.
“We took the gamble of running him in the St. Leger last season, but the petrol gauge ran out 
between the three-furlong and two-furlong pole that time, and we were very pleased with 
his preparation coming into this evening.
“We have our eyes firmly set on the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic (1m 4f) on Dubai World Cup night, so hopefully there is still a little bit of improvement to come.
“He was a bit fresh in the paddock tonight and there should be a bit more to come.”


Lewis Hamilton snatches dramatic Monaco Grand Prix pole position with record lap

Updated 25 May 2019
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Lewis Hamilton snatches dramatic Monaco Grand Prix pole position with record lap

  • An emotional second pole in Monaco and the 84th of his career
  • Last year’s race winner Daniel Ricciardo was seventh for Renault

MONACO: Lewis Hamilton snatched a dramatic pole position for Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix with an all-time circuit record lap in the final seconds to outpace Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas by 0.086 seconds.
The defending five-time champion and series leader clocked an unprecedented lap in 1min 10.166sec to end Bottas’ run of three successive poles as Mercedes, mourning the death this week of non-executive chairman Niki Lauda, produced a record-equalling 62nd front row lockout.
It was an emotional Hamilton’s second pole in Monaco and the 84th of his career as he dug deep in the final seconds to find the speed required to grab the prime grid position from his team-mate.
“Whoooah!” shouted Hamilton on team radio. “That’s what I am talking about...”
Max Verstappen was third for Red Bull ahead of four-time champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, Pierre Gasly in the second Red Bull and Kevin Magnussen for Haas.
Last year’s race winner Daniel Ricciardo was seventh for Renault ahead of Daniel Kvyat of Toro Rosso, Carlos Sainz of McLaren and Alex Albon in the second Toro Rosso.
Luckless local hero Charles Leclerc qualified 16th after a strategic muddle by Ferrari in the opening Q1 section of qualifying.