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Tamarkuz Prevails In Stunning Godolphin Mile

Photo: Erika Rasmussen (www.erikarphotography.com)

Any suggestions that the new dirt track at Meydan, which was opened at the start of the new season, favoured front runners were laid to rest with the last-to-first win by Tarmarkuz (USA) in the Godolphin Mile sponsored By Meydan Sobha.

In a thrilling finish, Tamarkuz, owned by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and ridden by Paul Hanagan, got up in the last stride to win by a short head over Sloane Avenue (USA) with Free Wheeling(AUS) a length and a half away third.

The place-getters gave the front-running FrankyfourFingers (FR) at least four lengths start at the top of the straight and swamped him in the final 50m.

Considering that Tamarkuz fluffed the start, when he stepped backwards just as the gates opened, it would not have surprised if the US-bred five-year-old had been found wanting in such a tight finish after giving all his rivals a lead, but he kept sticking his nose out and he was the strongest at the finish.

Hanagan admitted he was concerned about conceding the early ground but did not panic and kept on improving through the field.

“He was the strongest on the line and it was great winning one of the big races for ‘the boss’,” Hanagan said.

Tamarkuz is trained by Musabah Al Muhairi, who is the UAE Champion trainer..

There was no doubt the solid pace throughout suited the late finishers and Tamarkuz has now won seven of his 13 starts.
Hanagan said winning a feature race on Dubai World Cup night rated up there with some of his wins in England, including the Oaks.

Among the disappointments in the race was Dark Emerald (IRE), who had gained something of a cult following in the lead up races earlier in the Dubai World Cup Carnival.

Dark Emerald was with the leaders until nearing the home turn when he started to weaken and was virtually pulled out of the race at the top of the straight.

Quotes for Group 2 US$1m Godolphin Mile sponsored by Meydan Sobha


Paul Hanagan (jockey, Tamarkuz (USA), 1st) – “He’s been so good from the stalls lately but this is such a big day, there’s a lot to take in.

“The whole occasion got to him. But he dug in so deeply. I didn’t know whether I’d won but when Frankie (Dettori) said, ‘Well done’ it made me feel good.”

Frankie Dettori (jockey, Sloane Avenue (USA), 2nd) – “From stall 15 we almost did the impossible. I had a clean run and we made the best of it from where I was. We just got outrun and he has run a great race.”

James Doyle (jockey, Free Wheeling (AUS), 3rd) – “It was a cracking run. He’s a tough horse and doesn’t know how to run a bad race. It was a tough ask on paper but he’s risen to the challenge and had a smooth run around, which helps.”

Mickael Barzalona (jockey, Frankyfourfingers (FR), 5th) – “I could do what I wanted in front but when I went to quicken, he didn’t respond like usual. It’s a bit disappointing.”

Marc Monaghan (jockey, Gold City (IRE), 6th) – “He was a bit slow to jump and got checked early. He just ran on in the straight a bit one-paced.”

Doug Watson (trainer, Layl (USA), 7th) – “The draw was no help. He couldn’t get a position and had to take back but he’s had a long, hard season. He’ll be a horse to look forward to next year.”

Christophe Soumillon (jockey, Prayer For Relief (USA), 8th) – “I had a rough run.”

Johnny Geroudis (jockey, Pylon (SAF), 9th) – “I was drawn badly and he got a little bit of a bad break, but under the circumstances he actually ran all right.”

Oisin Murphy (jockey, Forjatt (IRE), 10th) – “He couldn’t hold his position early, which got me in trouble from the start. You can’t come from behind on this surface.”

Richard Mullen (jockey, Surfer (USA), 12th) – “I was told to be handy from the 16 draw and had to use him early to get a position so he had nothing left in the straight.”

Jose Lezcano (jockey, Bradester, 13th): “He jumped a step behind. He was caught in traffic and when he got clear, the race was over.”

Adam Kirby (jockey, Dark Emerald (IRE), 14th) – "You never know until you run on it (dirt) and we didn`t know. He was brilliant and perfect the first half of the race, but when I asked him to start lengthening on it he just didn`t go anywhere. He was uncomfortable on that going."

Ryan Moore (jockey, Graphic (IRE), 15th) – “Outpaced.”