Shuruq shows old Godolphin virtues to open Dubai Carnival
Thursday 09 January 2014
Godolphin threw down the gauntlet on the opening of day of the Dubai Carnival with two runners who recently emerged from a six-month ban resulting from the Mahmood al-Zarooni steroid scandal – and were instantly rewarded in Round One of the appropriately named Al-Maktoum Challenge, but with a filly beyond reproach in Shuruq.
The Saeed bin Suroor-trained four-year-old, a Listed and Group Three winner at the Carnival last year, lost her form on turf in Britain last summer and was last seen languishing in the rear alongside the damp dunes of the North Denes in a Listed contest at Yarmouth's Eastern Meeting. Back at the more congenial oasis of Meydan, she set a track record for a mile on the tapeta surface.
Steeler, one of 22 Godolphin horses barred from racing after being administered anabolic steroids by Zarooni, finished fourth after being sent off 3-1 favourite, whether or not in misplaced expectation of illicit improvement on his form when last seen finishing third to Kingsbarns in the Racing Post Trophy in October 2012, when trained by Mark Johnston. Artigiano, the other of Zarooni's victims to return, ran third in a Listed contest.
Charlie Appleby, who took over Zarooni's string last summer after the trainer was banned for eight years for his misdeeds, trained two handicap winners on the card.
Solwhit, the winner of last season's World Hurdle at Cheltenham, has been ruled out of this year's Festival. The 10-year-old had missed his planned reappearance at Leopardstown just after Christmas owing to a fetlock injury. Trainer Charles Byrnes will try to prepare Solwhit for Aintree or Punchestown later in the spring.
Latest in Sport
Mayweather-Pacquiao: Ricky Hatton, Mike Tyson, Ronda Rousey and more make their predictions
Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
How Liverpool can catch Manchester United and still qualify for the Champions League
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
Arsenal transfer targets: The summer signings that would please Thierry Henry, including Sami Khedira and Edinson Cavani
- 1 Avengers: Age of Ultron: Nearly 700 German cinemas refuse to show movie
- 2 Man cooked alive with 12,000 pounds of tuna
- 3 X Factor in crisis as numbers of people auditioning plummets
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Baltimore riots: Furious mother marches her son home live on TV
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Bali Nine executions live: Indonesian firing squad shoots dead eight drug offenders despite outcry around world, but a ninth is spared
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be joining an ISO 9001...
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm of accountants based ...
£30000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a financial services c...
£30000 - £32000 per annum + car allowance and on call: Ashdown Group: A succes...