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Saturday 18 August 2018

De Kock lines up Oaks for Mahbooba

Mike de Kock has major Carnival prizes in mind for Mahbooba after she struck gold in the UAE 1000 Guineas at Meydan.

The 8/11 favourite had chased home reopposing stable companion Reem in a trial at the track last month but, 7lb better off at the weights, Mahbooba had no trouble turning the tables in the Etislat-sponsored contest.

Ridden by Christophe Soumillon, the four-year-old passed the post with three and three-quarter lengths in hand over Reem, with fellow South African Chocolicious back in third.

"Christophe always wanted to be handy, and she has made the expected improvement," said De Kock.

"Certainly on pedigree the further she goes the better she'll be.

"She's a good filly and a Group One winner in South Africa.

"We'll go for the Oaks next and I've always maintained that she's a Derby filly who would have a chance. Raihana ran second last year and this filly is every bit as good, if not better."

De Kock and Soumillon went on to complete a quickfire double as 7/4 favourite Star Empire swooped late to claim the eLife Handicap.

"I was not confident at the top of the straight as when I pulled my horse out, he was trying hard but I did not have the feeling that the horse in front was stopping," said Soumillon. "But then in the last 100 yards he slowed down a bit, my horse kept going and I caught him 10 metres before the finish line."

Hong Kong raider Dynamic Blitz (14/1) lived up to his name with a dominant performance in the Group Three Al Shindagha Sprint, sitting handily before pulling right away in the home straight.

David Simcock's 14/1 shot Lord Of The Stars put up a fine performance from the front in the Meydan Classic Trial. Tadhg O'Shea's mount took a couple of lengths out of the field turning for home and kept up the gallop all the way up the straight to readily beat Krypton Factor.

O'Shea said: "I thought he'd improve for his first run here as he's a horse with a lot of natural pace.

"We had a nice draw and he was electric out of the gates, so I was able to get to the front and he kept going well."

De Kock put the seal on a splendid evening by saddling another two winners. Bold Silvano was the most noteworthy victor when emerging successful in round two of the Al Maktoum Challenge.

De Kock had earlier brought home the three-timer when 14/1 shot Warsaw, this time ridden by Kevin Shea, came from last to first to take the My Plan Handicap.

Botti was to have better fortune 35 minutes later when Lolamar, ridden by Mickael Barzalona, landed the concluding Etisalat-sponsored Wasel Handicap. Shimmering Moment, trained in Ireland by James Hartnett, finished a close-up second.

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