Decorated Knight Wins Folkswood Duel to Claim Group 1 Jebel Hatta

The best of the three turf races on Super Saturday at Meydan Racecourse was the 1800m Group 1 Jebel Hatta Sponsored by Emirates Airline, the trial for the Dubai Turf on the Dubai World Cup card and won by Decorated Knight, from England.

In what was arguably the most exciting finish of the night, Godolphin’s Folkswood put in a gallant effort to make all and fighting off challenges from Promising Run and Sanshaawes, only for Muffri’Ha to close on the rail with the eventual winner on his outside.

It was only in the last few strides that Andrea Atzeni was able to put Decorated Knight’s head in front, continuing the Roger Charlton trainee’s rise through the ranks.

“He is a progressive horse who improved last season and has continued to do so,” said Atzeni. “He could have run in the Winter Derby last week but is already a Group 3 winner so it made sense to come here.

“The pace was not quick which did not suit him but he has a good turn of foot and stays further so I was always pretty hopeful.

“He should be spot on in three weeks for the Dubai Turf.”

The 2410m Group 2 Dubai City Of Gold sponsored by Emirates SkyCargo was won 12 months ago by Postponed who then followed up on World Cup Day in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic.

However, this year he was unable to peg back Godolphin’s Prize Money who, victorious in a 2435m turf handicap on his previous start, coped admirably with the step up in class to land the spoils from Postponed who managed to get within a neck of him at the line.

Trained by Saeed bin Suroor and ridden by Adrie de Vries, the winner always looked to be travelling strongly at the rear of the field before making smooth progress as the field swung for home.

De Vries chased the same owner’s Emotionless, trained by Charlie Appleby, passing him with 150m left to run and holding off the late challenge of Postponed and Atzeni.

“This horse is just improving all the time and is a very useful four-year-old, said De Vries. “I actually thought we hit the front a bit too soon but I had to take the opportunity when it presented itself.

“He should give a good account of himself in the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic and probably has more to offer yet.”

A new race on the card this year was the Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint Sponsored by Arabian Adventures, a 1200m conditions contest and the prep for the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint which has been extended from 1000m this year.

The maximum field of 16 took their chances and, as you would expect, the race was contested at a furious pace with Caspian Prince towing the field along until beyond halfway.

He was headed by Fabulous One with Final Venture another giving chase at the head of affairs. However, having been settled well off the pace by William Buick, Godolphin’s Jungle Cat was making ominous progress and swept to the front with more than 200m left to run.

They shot clear with only French challenger, The Right Man, appearing a danger but he started to tire in the final 150m and it was left to Godolphin’s second contender, Baccarat, like Jungle Cat trained by Charlie Appleby, to chase home his stable companion.

He made some inroads under Colm O’Donoghue but was unable to repeat his course and distance handicap victory over the same horse achieved in January.

“We knew we had two live chances and they have both run very well,” said Appleby. “Jungle Cat has enjoyed a far smoother passage than Baccarat and both more than merit their place in the Al Quoz Sprint.”