The Dubai World Cup Carnival’s penultimate meeting Feb. 24 teed up a pair of Godolphin fillies for global engagements as With The Moonlight swept to victory in the Balanchine (G2) and Mawj confirmed her standing among 3-year-olds in the Jumeirah Fillies Guineas.
With The Moonlight’s easy, 4 1/2-length victory in the featured Balanchine confirmed she’s ready for another assault on New York’s rich turf filly races this summer.
There was little to the running as jockey William Buick placed the Frankel filly just behind the early speed, rallied through that pack after turning for home and was clearly best. She finished the 1,800 meters (about 1 1/8 miles) in 1:49.47.
“She’s really getting the hang of it now,” Buick said. “She had a great year last year and she’s off to a good start this season.”
Trainer Charlie Appleby said the race will send With The Moonlight back to the United States, where last year she won the $700,000 Saratoga Oaks Invitational Stakes (G3T) and finished second in both the $700,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes (G1T) and the Lake Placid Stakes (G2T).
“Hopefully, on the back of tonight, we’ll be heading back to North America and a summer campaign again there,” he said.
Appleby said Godolphin hoped that a new and expensive acquisition, 4-year-old Tranquil Lady , also could take on the New York stakes. In her first start for her new owners, which Appleby admitted was a “learning curve,” Tranquil Lady faded after a wide trip and wasn’t persevered with by jockey James Doyle, finishing last.
It was Godolphin fillies 1-2 at the finish of the Jumeirah Fillies but it wasn’t close as Mawj kicked away in the stretch run to win by 8 1/2 lengths from Fairy Cross .
With Danny Tudhope up, Mawj went out to an unchallenged lead in the 1,600-meter turf race, showed the way around the turn, and found no competition through the final 200 meters. Alseyoob was third, 1 1/4 lengths back of Fairy Cross.
Mawj, a homebred daughter of Exceed And Excel , had the recency advantage over Fairy Cross, having won her first start of 2023 Jan. 27 at Meydan while Fairy Cross had not raced since August. The question was whether Mawj could stay the mile for the first time.
“She got a soft lead and she quickened up really well,” said Tudhope.
Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said the victory opens doors for Mawj, including consideration for the U.A.E. Derby (G2) on World Cup night, although he said that’s a long chance.
“She may be for the English Guineas or the French Guineas,” bin Suooor said. “We’ll talk to the boss and see what he wants to do.”
Sharar rallies late to take the Jumeirah Derby
The Jumeirah Derby was a tough beat for the blue-clad Godolphin forces as Sharar threaded through the field in the stretch run to nail front-running One Nation by a neck. Another Godolphin runner, Highbank finished third.
Sharar, a Kentucky-bred son of Gun Runner , is out of the Saint Ballado mare Sacre Coeur , making him a half brother to 2017 Eclipse champion turf female Lady Eli . Both Sharar and Lady Eli were bred by Runnymede Farm and Catesby W. Clay. Sharar sold for $600,000 out of the Eddie Woods consignment at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales’ 2022 March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training.
Trainer Fawzi Nass did not discuss his plans for the colt but jockey Adrie de Vries noted he’s not yet fully filled out and will benefit from time to mature.
“You don’t want to put him on the dirt,” de Vries said. “He’s definitely a turf horse. I’d be happy to put him away and have a proper horse for next year.”