In only the second race ever over the new King Abdulaziz Racetrack turf course, Bahrain-based Dark Power (IRE) displayed his prowess for the unique 1351m distance in the well-labelled $1,000,000 stc 1351 Turf Sprint, running down Godolphin’s Charlie Appleby-trained Mubtasim (IRE) under a beautifully-timed Frankie Dettori ride.
Owned by Al Adiyat Racing, the Allan Smith-conditioned son of Dark Angel rewarded his trainer’s faith and stepped up in class with finesse under a tremendous closing ride. The final time was 1:19.63, with the winner overpowering the runner-up by a length. It was another two lengths back to Appleby’s Glorious Journey in third.
Frankie Dettori, jockey, Dark Power, 1st: “Sheikh Essa is a friend of mine. I’ve been going to Bahrain for the last five years and I took the ride a month ago. I didn’t know what to expect to be honest with you, but this is an amazing feeling. To win a race like this for your mates is a double-whammy. What they’ve done in the space of two months (with this turf course) is remarkable.”
Allan Smith, trainer, Dark Power: “Frankie gave him a super ride. The main thing was getting him settled early on and Frankie just got him slotted in and relaxed. I always thought he’d make a seven-furlong (1400m) horse even when I bought him. We bought a sprinter, but he’s always done his best at the end of a race. I’ll take it!”
James Doyle, jockey, Mubtasim, 2nd: “I know the winner well. I have won on him in Bahrain before. Frustrating, we had a dream run round. He stays the trip really well, I have no complaints. I’m delighted with him. I have been coming to Saudi Arabia quite a bit, I have seen the track develop and they have done a magnificent job with it.”
Rest of jockey quotes:
Wayne Lordan, Speak In Colours, 4th: “He ran well enough, he wasn’t going so well early on but he came home great.”
David Egan, Momkin, 7th: “It was difficult from the wide draw but we got into a nice position. Unfortunately I didn’t get a gap when I needed one but it was a nice start for him.”
Joel Rosario, Ghoul, 8th: “They might have gone a bit quick for him.”
Irad Ortiz, Larchmont Lad, 9th: “I had a good trip.”
Olivier Peslier on King Malpic, 13th: “We had a great race behind the winner. He hasn’t run since August and just couldn’t finish.”