Godolphin celebrated a first win in the £600,000 Bahrain International Trophy (G3) on Friday, as Dubai Future overtook his Saeed bin Suroor stablemate Passion and Glory at Sakhir Racecourse. There was nearly a Godolphin trifecta, but Riocorvo prevented it by heading Magny Cours for third.
Conspicuously absent from the finish was the blue colorbearer widely expected to star for Godolphin, Royal Fleet, who was a non-threatening eighth. Also below form were Irish mare Insinuendo, seventh in her anticlimactic swan song, and French import Dilawar, eased home in last.
Dubai Future was making amends for his eighth here last November. Bin Suroor had emphasized that the six-year-old was a different horse at this stage of his career. The race flow was another key factor. Unlike the free-for-all of the 2021 edition, that set it up for closers, the early pace scenario was more deliberate, and Dubai Future benefited from a well-judged ride by Danny Tudhope.
Now 2-for-2 aboard Dubai Future, having guided him to victory in the June 14 Wolferton S. at Royal Ascot, Tudhope was also gaining compensation for last year. He was sidelined by injury at this time a year ago, or else he would have ridden his longtime partner Lord Glitters to Bahrain glory.
With no one particularly interested in the pacesetting role out of the gate, Mickael Barzalona took the initiative on Magny Cours. Passion and Glory stalked in second, and Dubai Future was tucked in a ground-saving fourth much of the way. Longshot Pensiero d’Amore flanked him in third, but could not maintain his position to hold him inside down the lane.
Dubai Future angled into the clear and took aim on Magny Cours, who was beginning to look for the wire, and Passion and Glory, who was grinding into the fray. Although Passion and Glory stayed on dourly, Dubai Future had the stronger turn of foot to prevail by three-quarters of a length. The final time, first displayed as an improbably fast 1:57.86 for about 1 1/4 miles, was listed as 2:02.12 on the official results at bahrainturfclub.com.
Magny Cours nearly replicated his third-place effort from last year, but couldn’t hold off the relentlessly closing Riocorvo. Monty got up for fifth, prompting the question of whether he should have been more forward early. Perhaps post 9 influenced the tactics to drop back. Next came King David; Insinuendo; Royal Fleet, who never got involved from post 10; Pensiero d’Amore; and Dilawar. Presumptive favorite Alflaila was scratched following a Monday injury, and Litigator was also withdrawn.
A British homebred, Dubai Future was earning his first Group laurel and fourth overall stakes victory. The Dubawi gelding captured the 2021 Meydan Cup and 2022 Dubai Racing Club Classic during the Carnival, and the Wolferton marked his black-type breakthrough in Britain. Notable among his six stakes placings are the 2020 Nad al Sheba Trophy (G3), the 2021 Dubai City of Gold (G2), the July 23 York (G2), and the Sept. 17 Legacy Cup (G3) at Newbury in his prior start. His resume now reads 25-7-5-3.
Dubai Future is out of Grade 3 winner Anjaz, a Street Cry half-sister to Grade 2 heroine Giants Play (dam of German highweight Ispolini). Dubai Future’s second dam, Group 1 star Playful Act, is herself a full sister to Percussionist and a three-quarter sister to Great Heavens and Nathaniel.