Dubawi's Al Suhail Dominates The Challenge


Finding his metier again in Friday's G2 Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards Challenge S., Godolphin's Al Suhail (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) was able to dominate the seven-furlong test under forcing tactics from William Buick. Last seen winning a three-runner conditions event over this trip at Haydock Sept. 2, the hooded bay who had been third in the G1 Jebel Hatta at Meydan Mar. 6 and in the G2 Summer Mile at Ascot July 10 was instantly comfortable allowed to bowl along at the head of affairs. Stretching clear heading down into the “dip”, the 3-1 favourite stayed on strongly up the other side to score by 3 1/2 lengths from With Thanks (Ire) (Camacho {GB}), with a neck back to Chindit (Ire) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) in third. “We have always had a lot of confidence in Al Suhail's ability, but he has not been a straightforward character to deal with,” trainer Charlie Appleby said. “Fair play to all the team, who have done a great job and William has given him a great ride. It was a change of tactic, but it worked.”

Second in the 2019 G3 Autumn S. on this weekend two years ago, Al Suhail beat only one of his 15 rivals in the G1 2000 Guineas when next seen last June before turning in his most impressive performance prior to this when taking the Listed Sir Henry Cecil S. by six lengths at the July Festival here. Absent again until the Jebel Hatta, the bay followed a fine effort there with a tame one when last of the dozen contesting the G1 Dubai Turf three weeks later and was subsequently gelded. Back with a third in the Summer Mile, he was sixth when favourite for Newbury's G2 Hungerford S. over this trip Aug. 14 before breaking the seven-furlong track record at Haydock. The subsequent listed scorer Azano (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) had upheld the form in the interim and this dynamic performance only served to underline how potent Al Suhail is at this level under the right ride.

“We've seen what ability he has got throughout his career, but being brutally honest Will gave him a great ride because it was a tactic I came up with within the last 24 hours,” Appleby added. “In the past we've seen him travel and you think it's only a matter of pressing the button, but then he falters so I said if he doesn't want to go by them let's see if they can get by him. He's done it well today and it all worked out. It's no surprise he's won like that.”

Al Suhail's future targets appear to revolve around Meydan again. “I don't think he's one for the Breeders' Cup, as I don't think he's mentally strong enough for something like that,” his trainer said. “He'll go back out to Dubai, we saw him out there last year when we tried to step him up to nine furlongs, but we'll go the usual–Al Fahidi and Zabeel Mile. There's even a new programme out there on turf and there's a new seven-furlong race on Super Saturday that is worth $300,000.”

Al Suhail has been handed down much of the exuberance of his free-going dam Shirocco Star (GB) (Shirocco {Ger}), who stayed much further when second in the G1 Epsom and Irish Oaks, G2 QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares S. and G2 Prix de Royallieu and third in the G1 Pretty Polly S. Her best progeny to date is Telecaster (GB) (New Approach {Ire}), who also displayed a liking for positive tactics when landing the G2 Dante S. and G2 Grand Prix de Deauville. Also responsible for the Australian listed scorer Starcaster (GB) (Dansili {GB}), the Meon Valley-bred dam therefore holds a 100% record of producing stakes winners so far which bodes well for her yearling daughter of Frankel (GB) and filly foal by Dubawi (Ire).

GODOLPHIN STUD & STABLE STAFF AWARDS CHALLENGE S.-G2, £120,000, Newmarket, 10-8, 3yo/up, 7fT, 1:24.29, g/s.
1–AL SUHAIL (GB), 129, g, 4, by Dubawi (Ire)
     1st Dam: Shirocco Star (GB) (G1SP-Eng, MG1SP-Ire, GSP-Fr, $485,970), by Shirocco (Ger)
     2nd Dam: Spectral Star (GB), by Unfuwain
     3rd Dam: Hyperspectra (GB), by Rainbow Quest
1ST GROUP WIN. (1,100,000gns Ylg '18 TATOCT). O-Godolphin; B-Meon Valley Stud (GB); T-Charlie Appleby; J-William Buick. £68,052. Lifetime Record: G1SP-UAE, 13-4-2-4, $204,262. *1/2 to Telecaster (GB) (New Approach {Ire}), MGSW-Fr, GSW-Eng, $277,645, & to Starcaster (GB) (Dansili {GB}), SW-Aus, $237,610. Werk Nick Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–With Thanks (Ire), 126, f, 4, Camacho (GB)–Thanks (Ire), by Kheleyf. (€5,000 RNA Ylg '18 GOFSPT; €100,000 2yo '19 TATGOR). O-Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum; B-Mrs E Thompson (IRE); T-William Haggas. £25,800.
3–Chindit (Ire), 127, c, 3, Wootton Bassett (GB)–Always a Dream (GB), by Oasis Dream (GB). (65,000gns Ylg '19 TATOCT). O-Michael Pescod; B-J C Bloodstock & R Mahon (IRE); T-Richard Hannon. £12,912.
Margins: 3HF, NK, 1 1/4. Odds: 3.00, 8.50, 3.50.
Also Ran: Safe Voyage (Ire), Jouska (GB), Garrus (Ire), D'Bai (Ire), Double Or Bubble (Ire), Horoscope (Ire). Click for the Racing Post result or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.

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