Godolphin's D’bai strikes in G3 John of Gaunt Stakes

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D’bai gained a first G3 success with a brave display in the John of Gaunt Stakes over seven furlongs at Haydock Park, UK on Saturday.

The four-year-old son of Dubawi, runner-up in the six-furlong Listed Leisure Stakes on his European return at Windsor on 21 May, was settled in fourth of the seven runners early on by William Buick.

D’bai, trained by Charlie Appleby, quickened smartly to take the lead entering the final furlong and gamely saw off the late challenges of Larchmont Lad and Tabarrak to prevail by a head in 1m 28.24s on good to firm ground.

Godolphin’s other runner Dutch Connection (Charlie Hills/James Doyle) kept on to come home a clear fourth.

Charlie Appleby said: “D’bai travelled very well today and really put his head down when he had to.

“He holds an entry in the G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (6f, 23 June) at Royal Ascot and we will keep the race on our radar, but he could also head for the G2 Lennox Stakes (7f, 31 July) at Goodwood.

“D’bai is a G3 winner over seven furlongs now, so it seems logical to keep him over the same distance, but the way he travels in his races suggests that a fast-run six furlongs could be right up his street.

“We will see how he comes out of the race and talk things over but I am delighted that he has won a G3 race.”

William Buick added: “D’bai is a very talented horse. He had a good winter in Dubai, winning a seven-furlong handicap, and things just didn’t go right for him in the G2 Al Fahidi Fort out there.

“Charlie used the race at Windsor as a prep for this and it has worked out nicely. He travelled really well throughout the race – I would have liked to have another horse to follow and been able to wait a little longer, but he stuck on well.”

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Breeders' Cup Classic the main aim for Godolphin's Thunder Snow

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Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor is considering options for Dubai World Cup hero Thunder Snow on the way to the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The four-year-old, who has won a Group One in all three of his racing seasons, produced a superb front-running performance at Meydan in March to shock American favourite West Coast, and has since enjoyed a well-deserved break.

The Emirati said: “The horse had a hard race in Dubai, but he is doing well and the Breeders’ Cup Classic is the long-term aim. We’ll try to find one or two races for him beforehand.

“The Jacques le Marois is a possible and the Belmont Jockey Club Gold Cup, then hopefully on to the Classic, as that is the main objective.”

Bin Suroor also had news of Benbatl, winner of the Dubai Turf on World Cup night.

He said: “Benbatl is doing well since winning the Grade One in Dubai.

“We will get him ready for Royal Ascot, and he will go for the Queen Anne, as a stiff mile will suit him.”

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Godolphin's Savatiano ready for supreme test at Doomben

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In-form filly Savatiano faces her stiffest test to date when she makes her Stakes debut in Saturday’s G2 Dane Ripper Stakes at Doomben.

But trainer James Cummings believes she has the talent to acquit herself well against opposition that includes older and more experienced rivals.

The 30-year-old says Savatiano has what it takes to develop into a top tier filly, but he is also confident she can be competitive now.

“Savatiano takes a giant leap up in grade in the Dane Ripper,” Cummings said.

“She meets a group of very strong mares and she is out of the handicaps, but you have to be impressed with the form she’s in.

“If she’s got it within her, then she’s fit enough and in the right sort of shape to be getting there now.”

Savatiano is in rare form having won her only two starts this time in, the latest by an ever-increasing five lengths over 1200m at Randwick last month.

Savatiano is one of two Godolphin three-year-old fillies looking to make their mark at the meeting with Banish to take on the males in the G2 Queensland Guineas.

Banish (Glyn Schofield) finished fifth last time out in the G2 Doomben Roses and has a G2 win in Melbourne to her credit over the 1600m of Saturday’s race.

“She’s forced to tackle some well-performed males, but the way she ran home over the 2000m tells us she’s nice and fit for the race. She just needs to lift a few lengths,” Cummings said.

Godolphin’s Doomben representation is completed by Nozomi (Jim Byrne) in the G2 Brisbane Cup.

The six-year-old comes to the race off some moderate form but trainer Anthony Freedman is pleased with the horse’s preparation in Brisbane and believes he can run a forward race.

“He’s been a very good horse to the stable over several seasons and, with the right run, he’s capable of getting into the finish,” he said.

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