Press release by Dubai Racing Club
Muntazah and Capezzano Star On SUPER SATURDAY @ Meydan Racecourse
Super Saturday on 9th March 2019, an evening sponsored by pillar partner Emirates, lived up to its name at Meydan Racecourse. The dress rehearsal for the world’s richest race day, the $35 million Dubai World Cup card, boasted seven races worth $2.65 million, including two Group 1 affairs, a Group 2, triad of Group 3s and a wide-open Listed event—all course and distance preps for corresponding Dubai World Cup night fixtures. The evening was topped by the return of 2018 Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1) winner Thunder Snow, who competed in the evening’s richest race, the $600,000 Al Maktoum Challenge R3 (G1) over 2000m.
The Al Maktoum Challenge R3 (G1) was turned into a procession by Capezzano, who was sent straight to the front by Mickael Barzalona and was never headed for trainer Salem bin Ghadayer. Owned by Sultan Ali, he fended off a stiff challenge from favourite Thunder Snow and sauntered in style by 9½ lengths at the wire. The 5-year-old gelded son of Bernardini arrived here having won both his previous outings this year, highlighted by his impressive 14-length win last out at Meydan over 1600m, but was winning over a classic distance for the first time.
Godolphin’s Thunder Snow, second in this last year to North America before landing the Dubai World Cup, seemingly loomed as a big danger entering the straight under Christophe Soumillon, but as their challenge faltered, Barzalona and Capezzano shot clear.
The moment of the day arguably belonged to Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Muntazah, who provided Doug Watson with a second winner on the card and second consecutive victory in the Burj Nahaar sponsored by Emirates Holidays (G3). The race is over the same 1600m on dirt as the Godolphin Mile, a race in which he was second to Heavy Metal last March.
Breaking from the rail, jockey Jim Crowley left nothing to chance and made the running—and a swift running it was. Through 400m splits of 24.40 and 46.70, he completed 1200m in 1:10.37—faster than the running of the final time of the Mahab Al Shimaal (G3) less than two hours prior. He reached out beautifully turning for home and buried his opponents with a final 400m in 24.62, finishing in front by 10 lengths and breaking the three-year-old track record of One Man Band, another Watson trainee. The final time was 1:34.99—the first time ever to break the 1:35 mark (zero run-up to the pole).
The 6-year-old gelded son of Dubawi had made his dirt debut when runner-up in the 2018 Godolphin Mile and was winning on the surface for a second time since victorious in the Firebreak (G3) over the same 1600m last month. Heavy Metal missed the break badly, but rallied to a respectable fourth-place finish, just behind Turkish invader Good Curry (second under Halis Karatas) and Adrie de Vries-piloted Musawaat, who was fourth in last year’s Godolphin Mile.