Soft Falling Rain Storms Clear In UAE 2,000 Guineas Trial

South Africa`s Top Juvenile To Contest UAE Colt`s Classic In February

Mike De Kock has saddled the winner of the UAE 2,000 Guineas on four occasions and would appear to have every chance of making it five after the impressive victory of Soft Falling Rain in the 1400m all-weather surface trial at Meydan on Thursday evening, the second meeting of the 2013 Dubai World Cup Carnival.

A Group 1 winner in their native South Africa, Soft Falling Rain is now unbeaten in five career starts and was always in control on this, his UAE debut.

Owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, he was partnered by the owner`s retained jockey, Paul Hanagan who was happy to go straight to the front and the pair never saw another rival to win comfortably.

His trainer was relieved: “You just never know how they will cope with the surface in a race and he had a lot of weight to carry over a new trip. I was very hopeful but it is nice to see him win like that and we will be back for the Guineas and take it from there.

“The Derby trip would have to be a concern and we may aim towards the Godolphin Mile if all goes well.”

The rest of the meeting was dominated by Godolphin trainer Mahmoud Al Zarooni and jockey Mickael Barzalona who combined to win half of the six races, highlighted by the win of Music Chart in the UAE 1,000 Guineas Trial, also over 1400m on the all-weather.

She ran on too strongly for the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Shuruq and the trainer said: “We thought she would run well and obviously the Guineas itself is the next target but we also have a lovely filly called Lovely Pass for that race as well.”

Barzalona produced Music Chart to lead close home, just as he had done in the previous 2000m turf handicap on Laajooj who denied stable companion, Naqshabban in the dying strides of a thrilling finish.

The treble was completed in the concluding 2410m turf handicap with Anatolian holding off the late challenge of the Bin Suroor-trained Ahzeemah to complete a great night for trainer and jockey. Al Zarooni said: “We thought we had some nice chances but to win three races is better than we could have hoped for – especially including a 1-2 in the second race. Hopefully we can continue in such good form.”

The meeting, kindly sponsored by Dubai Duty Free, opened with a 1600m all-weather handicap and Champion Jockey, Tadhg O`Shea made virtually every yard of the running on the Ernst Oertel-trained Capital Attraction – a winner at Jebel Ali only last Friday. It was a good performance and O`Shea would not rule out another quick run.

He said: “I know it is only next Friday but we would have to consider the Jebel Ali Mile as he is improving rapidly and handles that surface well. It is a Group 3 and a valuable prize but we will have to see how he is after tonight.”

Three track records were broken at last week`s meeting and Tamaathul set a new mark for the 1200m turf trip when staying on strongly to win a 1200m turf handicap, initiating a double for owner Sheikh Hamdan and jockey Hanagan.

Hanagan said: “That was his first effort at 1200m and we hoped it would suit him after he was caught close home over 1400m last week. They went very quick early on which has really helped him.”