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Ghostzapper - Getback Time, by Gilded Time - Adena Springs
Adena Springs - Paris, KY | 2012 | Entered Stud 2018 | 2019 Fee $7,500 TBD

Arch Colt Strikes for Godolphin in UAE 2000 Guineas

3rd at MEY, Gr. Stk, 250000G3 UAE 2000 Guineas (1600m)Winner: Estihdaaf, c, 3 by Arch

Estihdaaf | Erica Rasmussen/DRC

By Heather Anderson

Estihdaaf (Arch) upset the heavily favoured Walking Thunder (Violence) with an open-length tally in the G3 UAE 2000 Guineas at Meydan on Thursday. It was the second win of four on the card for Godolphin after Dubhe (GB) (Dubawi {Ire) won the second race for Charlie Appleby. 2019 marks the third time in the last three years that the royal blue has visited the winner’s circle and the seventh win in the race for trainer Saeed bin Suroor.

The slowest away and wearing blinkers for the first time, the dark bay immediately surged up to press the issue with GSW Sporting Chance (GB) (Kodiac {GB}) four deep and Fintas (GB) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) and Mulfit (Exchange Rate) sandwiched between them leaving the chute. Narrowly in front after a quarter mile in :25.16, Estihdaaf handed the baton to Sporting Chance who punched the breeze three deep after five furlongs in 1:00.81 as Mulfit dropped back to the tail of the pack. Walking Thunder moved up widest of all just behind them and appeared poised to blow right by, but the Godolphin runner had other ideas. Estihdaaf opened up by a length 400 metres out and poured it on from there, with Walking Thunder one-paced in second 5 1/2 lengths behind. Red Cactus (Hard Spun) rallied into third 2 1/4 lengths back, as Sporting Chance tired to fourth an equal amount behind.

“I know when you have a horse like him, who is a bit lazy, if you can hit the front and relax for a while, it’s hard to catch up,” said jockey Christophe Soumillon. “I was very confident [once he hit the front], especially when I saw the favourite turning [for home] four [paths wide]. When Saeed gets some ideas, he can make things work. He showed more speed today. I told Saeed last time that if I had hit the front, I would have won it, and finally we did it today. It was a better race, and we are all very happy with it.”

“If he was more forward, I knew he would improve from last time,” said bin Suroor. “I was confident he could run the mile and I knew the dirt would suit him because of his breeding. I told Christophe to be handy with him like he was in the morning and it went well. We will see how he comes out after the race and Sheikh Mohammed will make a decision about [the Al Bastakiya and G2 UAE Derby].”

A debut second when unveiled at York last September, Estihdaaf dropped to third transferred to Newmarket later that month, but found 1400 metres at Leicester to his liking with a two-length victory on Oct. 16. Only eighth tried in a Jan. 10 Meydan conditions heat, the sophomore improved with more real estate and a first try over the dirt here on Jan. 24.

“He travelled very good there,” said second-place reinsman Connor Beasley aboard the favoured Walking Thunder. “He quickened up the straight, but just kept on one pace.”

Pedigree Notes…

Estihdaaf is the 69th black-type winner and 40th graded/group winner for his sire, the late Claiborne stallion Arch (Kris S.). Last Saturday at Aqueduct, another 3-year-old by Arch, the gelding Tax, added a Grade III win in the day’s featured Withers S. The winner’s dam is a full-sister to two-time Grade I heroine Better Lucky and a half-sister to GIII Marine S. victor Sahara Heat (A.P. Indy). Their dam, the Seeking the Gold mare Sahara Gold scored her biggest win in the GII Beaumont S. and a GI Breeders’ Cup Sprint victory went the way of Estihdaaf’s third dam, Desert Stormer (Storm Cat). Enrichment foaled a colt by Medaglia d’Oro in 2018 and she was covered by Lane’s End sire Quality Road last spring. Click for the free catalogue-style pedigree.


Thursday, Meydan, Middle East
UAE 2000 GUINEAS (SPONSORED BY AL NABOODAH ASHOK LEYLAND PARTNERSHIP)-G3, $250,000, Meydan, 2-7, NH3yo & SH3yo, 1600m, 1:39.87, ft.
1–ESTIHDAAF, 126, c, 3, by Arch
1st Dam: Enrichment, by Ghostzapper
2nd Dam: Sahara Gold, by Seeking the Gold
3rd Dam: Desert Stormer, by Storm Cat
T-Saeed bin Suroor; J-Christophe Soumillon. $150,000.
Lifetime Record: 6-2-2-1, $183,491. *1/2 to Libreta (Girolamo),
SW, $128,660. **69th SW & 40th GSW for his sire (by Kris S.).
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick
   Rating: F.
2–Walking Thunder, 126, c, 3, Violence–Street Show, by Street
Boss. ($42,000 2yo ’18 OBSAPR). O-Phoenix Ladies Syndicate;
B-Golden Legacy Stable (FL); T-Ahmad bin Harmash. $50,000.
3–Red Cactus, 126, c, 3, Hard Spun–Strut the Canary, by
Mineshaft. ($60,000 Ylg ’17 KEEJAN; $85,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP;
£80,000 2yo ’18 GOFAPR). O-Lone Kaj Nielsen; B-Mr & Mrs
Oliver S Tait (KY); T-Bent Olsen. $25,000.
Margins: 5HF, 2 1/4, 2 1/4.
Also Ran: Sporting Chance (GB), Fintas (GB), Moshaher, Eyelool (Ire), Mulfit.
Click for the DRC video.

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