Godolphin duo Lumiere and Buratino to return to sprinting at Ascot

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Buratino in action.

There was plenty of confidence behind Lumiere after she had won the Cheveley Park Stakes on her final outing as a juvenile, so much so that she was sent off the second favourite for fillies’ Classic.

However, despite needing to prove her stamina, she was beaten before that became an issue, trailing home last of the 16 runners.

“We feel she should go back to where we know she has excelled, and that is over a sprint distance,” said John Ferguson, Godolphin’s chief executive and racing manager.

“She will be entered for the Group One Commonwealth Cup, and probably also the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot.”

Buratino shaped with a bit more promise through the 2000 Guineas but faded to finish ninth.

“He didn’t stay, and therefore we feel the best target at the Royal meeting will be the Group One Commonwealth Cup, over six furlongs,” said Ferguson.

“He is a course-and-distance winner (having won last year’s Coventry Stakes),”

The one success story in the two Classics for Godolphin was Richard Fahey’s Ribchester, who outran his odds to finish third in the 2000 Guineas.

“Ribchester has run really well for his third, and we are all delighted,” Ferguson told www.godolphin.com.

“Richard would like to give him a little break now before coming back for Ascot (St James’s Palace Stakes).”

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Start Right lands glory for Satish Seemar with win in Chengdu

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Flying the UAE flag: The Zabeel Stables team pose with winner Start Right.

The Satish Seemar-trained nine-year-old recorded a one-length victory over Doug Watson’s Jutland under Sam Hitchcott with Seemar’s Layali Al Andalus running on for third a short head further back.

Skygazer, trained by Ali Rashid Al Raihe was declared a non-runner after unseating his jockey, Tadhg O’Shea in the gates and completing the 2218m distance riderless.

“It’s about time,” said Bhupat Seemar, assistant trainer to Satish. “We’ve been coming here for the last two years but this is our first winner. Start Right is always very consistent and he was third in this last year.

“The loose horse actually helped him because he goes to the front and stops. Layali Al Andulas ran a good race too, finishing third so it’s been a great trip.”

The race card featured five races worth a total of RMB3.75m ($604,536).

Trainer Musabah Al Muhairi continued his recent run of good form when adding a double to the two Dubai World Cup victories he claimed a week earlier. Al Muhairi won the opening race with his Damar,  ridden by Xavier Ziani, in the 1400m Wenjiang Sprint, then immediately followed up with success in the 1600m Guangsha Handicap for Court Room under Adrie de Vries.

Ismael Mohammed was another who saddled two winners when Stamford won the Meydan Handicap under Szczepan Mazur while Expert won the 1600m Wenjiang-Meydan Classic under apprentice Marc Monaghan.

The Chengdu Dubai International Cup raceday was the culmination of a week of media events based around the meeting which is organised by Meydan Group in partnership with the Chengdu Municipal Government, Chengdu Sports Bureau, Wenjiang District Government and China Guangsha Group.

Meydan Board Member, Mohammed Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Shehhi, said: “The 2016 renewal of the Chengdu Dubai International Cup has been a great success. Now in its third year, this race day is one of the results of the ongoing relationship that exists between Meydan Group and the Government of Chengdu.”

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Only wonder ride would have stopped Postponed says jockey

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Dominant: Postponed.

Jockey Andrea Atzeni declared it would have taken a wonder ride to prevent Postponed from marching to success in the $6million Dubai Sheema Classic.

The Irish-bred colt put in one of the most-dominant performances in the 21st edition of the Dubai World Cup on Saturday. His supreme display over 2,410 metres on turf was exemplified by the course-record time of two minutes, 26.97 seconds.

“It was a great feeling,” said 26-year-old Atzeni. “He is a very easy horse to ride – he jumps, he travels, he quickens. The horse was in great form. I thought it would have taken a good horse to beat him.

“The race went quickly and he gallopped out well. He is a very good horse to have on your side.”

Atzeni guided his mount to victory by two lengths, as second-placed Duramente and third-placed Last Impact failed to keep up on the home stretch.

The success validated the surprise decision by Sheikh Mohammed bin Obaid Al Maktoum to move the five-year-old and the rest of his Luca Cumani-trained string across Newmarket to join Roger Varian’s stable last September.

Prior to the switch, the latter-mentioned trainer earned total prize money of $3.2m in 2014. Victory in Saturday’s penultimate race was worth $3.45m alone.

But the 37-year-old insisted glory, rather than cash, was his greatest concern.

He said: “It is one of the biggest night’s racing on the calendar. It is a global stage, so it has to rank it as a highlight.

“It is not about the prize money. Sure, that is nice. But winning races on big stage is what excites me.”

There was also added joy for Atzeni aboard the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes champion.

He said: “It’s massive for me and especially to do that for Roger Varian, who has provided great support to me, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Obaid Al Maktoum. It was also my birthday (Saturday), so what a way to celebrate it.”

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