IT’s been a good 2016 season for Dubai Carnival veterans – a title six-year-old Sanshaawes has every right to lay claim to after 11 runs at Meydan for three wins and five places since he arrived in the UAE in December 2013.
Sanshaawes, who has also travelled to Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong in the last two years, posted his latest success in a 2000m handicap at the Dubai track on Thursday. Well placed off a moderate pace, he quickened up nicely for Christophe Soumillon to get the lead 350m out. They kept going hard from stablemate Whistle Stop, who made the expected improvement and stayed on impressively in second.
“He ran very well when third first time this year,” said Soumillon. “They did not go quick and I was always happy I was in the right place to challenge when the pace quickened.”
Owned by young Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, Sanshaawes was raised at Barbara Sanne’s Oldlands Stud, who will be celebrating another win by the all-South African bred gelding sired by Ashaawes from a mare by Northern Guest; indeed a one-two as the runner up is a graduate of Mary Slack’s Wilgerbosdrift Stud.
Sanshaawes with Trevor Brown (left), Christophe Soumillon and groom Thomas Ncume. (Andrew Watkins).
Racing journeyman and stable associate Patrick Cummings, writing from Hong Kong, observed: “Well, was spot on about Sanshaawes running a blinder first-up and that brutal pace taking a toll on many. He improved. But the sectionals were completely within reason. Compared to the Week 1 race, they ran 2.1 seconds slower through the first 400 and 3.9 seconds to the 800. I felt good with him down the back, and the times proved it.
“Now, where it gets interesting to me is that Elleval ran third, beaten just more than two lengths. He had no right, on paper, to want a pace that slow and still come running. The Godolphin horse Elhaame came from well out of it too. It was impressive for both to close off, and the big news out of the race is that it bodes very positively for Star Empire, who got a really solid form franking with Elleval wheeling back to top form when the sectionals were against him.”
Earlier, Mastermind put up a cracking performance in the Al Fahidi Fort over 1400m The lowest-rated horse in this Gr2 race, he was beaten only 1,75-lengths into third by Safety Check and another South African representative, Harry’s Son, who claimed second for Paul Lafferty and Piere Strydom.
Behind Mastermind in fourth and earning another stake prize was the ever-present Anaerobio with Royal Ridge also running near his best in fifth. The fourth De Kock runner Tellina found the trip too short after his long lay-off, as expected, but he wasn’t disgraced staying on within ten lengths of the winner with plenty of improvement likely.
Tannaaf had a bit to do from a wide draw, even over 2435m in the handicap that ended proceedings. He took cover halfway through, settled down and then flashed up in the straight looking to win. He ran on well and was just over a length adrift at the line, beaten into fifth.
Cummings observed: “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that Tannaaf ran a cracker. At the end, he went 11m more than the winner, and even farther than that with every horse that finished in front of him. Overall, he averaged an in-race speed of 57.3kph, which was faster than the winner, and covered the equivalent of 4 1/4 lengths more than the winner. The numbers are even bigger considering the horses just ahead of him.”