Dubai Duty Free have announced record sales for the first quarter of this year, so it was perhaps fitting that for their 15th anniversary of sponsoring racing at Newbury they were able to herald an equine superstar in Frankel, who stretched his unbeaten record to five with another awesome performance to win the Greenham Stakes on Saturday.
Frankel sparkles at Dubai Duty Free meeting
Granted, this was only the dress-rehearsal for the 2000 Guineas, but Frankel, who has been described by his legendary trainer, Henry Cecil, as “the best horse I have had since Wollow 25 years ago”, could not have been more impressive.
Racegoers were six deep around the paddock to get a glimpse of Frankel, who has so much presence and knows that he is special, and when the stalls opened he did not let his adoring public down, powering away in the final 200 metres to win by four lengths.
Cecil said: “Frankel was only 80 per cent fit and that will have put him spot on for the Guineas.
“The gallop was never going to be fast enough for Frankel, but it was a perfectly satisfactory trial, and the further he went the better he looked.”
Jockey Tom Queally was equally animated and said: “The hardest part was pulling Frankel up, but when I gave him a smack he put his authority on the race, and he is everything that I would look for in a Guineas horse.”
Belgian ace Christophe Soumillon came in for lavish praise from trainer Paul Cole following their success together with Rimth in the fillies trial, the Dubai Duty Free Stakes.
Rimth flew home to claim the race in the last 50 yards, and Cole said: “For me, Christophe is the best jockey in the world, and he was very complimentary about this filly, who has a smart turn of foot.
“The problem is that we don’t have Rimth entered in either the English or French 1000 Guineas, but there would be slight doubts about the extra 200 metres and Christophe thinks that Longchamp would be easier than Newmarket, so we’ll talk to the owner about supplementing.”
Indian Days, who showed plenty of courage to hold Soumillon’s mount, Bridge of Gold, by a head in the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Stakes, is internationally well travelled and the evergreen six-year-old could be globetrotting again this summer.
His trainer James Given said: “Indian Days loves travelling, and he could be off to Kranji on May 22 for the Singapore Airlines Cup, and, while we will consider both Epsom (Coronation Cup) and Royal Ascot (Hardwicke Stakes), we would also be keen to try and repeat last year’s win in Turkey in the autumn.”
Former champion jockey Ryan Moore excelled on Modun in the Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire Handicap, coming from last to first to win going away, while Europe’s new racing sensation, Mickael Barzalona, who is proving an able understudy for Frankie Dettori in the Godolphin operation, rode a polished race to win the first division of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Maiden Stakes for the boys in blue on Laajooj.
The Queen’s General Synod was favourite for the second leg of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Maiden to give Her Majesty a Royal winner, but no sooner had he got the better of Princess Haya of Jordan’s Colombian than both were swallowed up by newcomer Dubawi Sound.