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.”


Saudi Arabia enjoy more golden success at Special Olympics

Updated 19 March 2019
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Saudi Arabia enjoy more golden success at Special Olympics

  • Kingdom's athletes claim three golds, one silver and three bronzes on day four in Abu Dhabi.
  • Saudi Arabia medal tally now up to an impressive 25.

LONDON: Saudi Arabia enjoyed another good day at the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi winning three golds, one silver and three bronzes to take their medal tally to an impressive 25 after four days.
Abdulaziz Alharthi got the day off to a great start in the pool, the 17-year-old from Jeddah picking up gold in the men’s 25m freestyle.
That was then followed up with the second gold of the day as Mohammed Alolayan powered home in the 5,000m. It was his second medal of the Games after he took home a bronze in the triathlon.
Moayed Aldarwish completed the hat-trick of golds coming home first in the 400m.


That was not the end of the success for the Kingdom as Fares Almateq and Naif Alshammari won silver in the men’s doubles table tennis. This was Fares’ second win of the week, having impressively won gold in the men’s singles event earlier.
Heba Shawli then became another multiple-medal winner when she took home the bronze in the softball throw event — she having won gold in the 25m run event.
Faisal Algosaibi and Faris Khouj, also part of the 4x100m freestyle relay team, each won bronze in their division of the 25m freestyle swimming.


Other winners of multiple medals include Hassan Alhadhariti, who won three golds and one silver in powerlifting; Sara Felemban and Jana Albeshri, who both won silver in bocce women’s singles and women’s team events, and Shahad Sunbul, who won silver in the bocce women’s team event and bronze in the bocce women’s singles event.