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Mahbooba glides through Balanchine

Southern Oil and Gas were the generous sponsor of Friday`s tenth meeting of the Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan and again it was South African Mike de Kock who saddled the winner of the featured race with Mahbooba landing the Group 2 Balanchine Stakes.

An 1800m turf race restricted to fillies and a mares, it is a race the master handler has a particularly good record in and this was his fifth win in the race which was only introduced to the calendar in 2004.

Christophe Soumillon was in the saddle on the winner, as he had been on stable companion River Jetez who won the race last year from another stablemate Reem who was third this year. They were divided by First City who made a brave attempt to follow up her defeat of Mahbooba in the 1600m Cape Verdi, a victory for which she was penalised.

Soumillon`s mount looked in trouble 400m out but stayed on dourly to lead 100m out to the delight of her trainer who said: "We knew the 1600m in the Cape Verdi was going to be on the short side and she has needed the 1800m here. She won over further in the UK last year and I think we will try the 2400m of the Dubai City Of Gold on Super Saturday with a view to aiming her at the Dubai Sheema Classic on Dubai World Cup night."

Earlier on the card the judge could not separate Tertio Bloom and Capital Attraction who flashed past the post together in a 1400m S O G Logistics handicap. After much deliberation a dead-heat was announced with the jockeys involved, Mirco Demuro and Per-Anders Graberg, happy to share the spoils.

Graberg, who rode Tertio Bloom for trainer Fabrico Borges said: "He ran well over this course and distance two runs ago and I was hoping for a big run. We hit the front and perhaps went a length clear but Demuro’s horse was finishing fast and I was not sure if I had held on."

Demuro, who partnered Capital Attraction for Ernst Oertel, added: "We were closing as the line approached and I knew it was very close. We will take the dead-heat."

The only Purebred Arabian race on the card, the Group 2 Bani Yas, went to Kandar Du Falgas who broke the track record with Richard Hills in the saddle for trainer Doug Watson who said: "He has been a good horse over the years and it is nice to win again with him."

Racing concluded with the S O G Finance , a 2000m handicap and Plantagenet landed the spoils for Spain with Ioritz Mendizabal in the saddle for Guillermo Arizkorreta.

UAE Champion Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe, out of luck with First City in the feature, had earlier gained some compensation with Garbah in the 1200m S O G Reservoir handicap under Royston Ffrench.

Musabah Al Muhairi and Wayne Smith combined to win the 1600m S O G Facilities handicap with Alnashmy, while Farrier made a winning debut in the opening S O G Engineering, a 1400m maiden, for Satish Seemar and Richard Mullen.