By Dick Downey
The Downey Profile
Khawlah, a filly, won the Group 2 UAE Derby at Meydan Racecourse. The Irish-bred from Godolphin Stable got up over Master of Hounds by a nose.
Master of Hounds was in the hunt early, never worse than third while tracking outside pacesetter Xin Xu Lin and Reem. In upper stretch, Master of Hounds struck the front just as Khawlah began her wide late move. She ran down the middle of the course, and the two battled to the wire.
The final time was 1:58.83, almost two seconds off the course record for 1 3/16 mile. Mickael Barzalona rode the winner, who was sent off by bettors at 7-2. Master of Hounds was 12-1.
In post-race interviews, there was no mention by the trainers of either the winner or runner-up that the Kentucky Derby might be in future plans. Saeed bin Suroor, trainer of Khawlah, charted out a European campaign. Aiden O'Brien, who conditions Master of Hounds, did not mention a return to the U.S. Master of Hounds was an also-ran in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.
Khawlah earned $1,200,000 of the $2,000,000 UAE Derby purse; Master of Hounds picked up $400,000. Mahbooba, the filly that finished third, earned $200,000.
Sweet Ducky, who was recently sold by George and Lori Hall to Chechnyan President Ramzan Kadyrov for an undisclosed sum, finished thirteenth in the 14-horse field and is presumably off the Kentucky Derby Trail. Before the race trainer Herman Brown said, "To take him here, run him, and then take him back and prepare him...that would be very difficult. But obviously if he runs well here, top two or three, we'll have to consider it."
POST RACE CONNECTIONS QUOTES
Mickael Barzalona, jockey, Khawlah, 1st - “It didn't go at all like I'd hoped because she couldn't get any cover, but she got me out of trouble. She was very brave and finished really well. It's a dream to win here.”
Ryan Moore, jockey, Master of Hounds, 2nd – “He ran very well for his first run of the season. He felt to me like he would come on for that.”
Aidan O'Brien, trainer, Master of Hounds, 2nd - “He's run a great race. It was his first outing of the season and Ryan said he got tired in the last 50 yards, which he was entilted to do. I'm delighted to be here and be part of it. Words and pictures cannot do this place justice. This fellow run a nice race in the Racing Post Trophy last season and in America, where he was slowly away from the stalls and got too far back, but he's broken well today and I'm delighted with him. He'll improve as the year goes on.”
Christophe Soumillon, jockey, Mahbooba, 3rd – “Had a great trip. Everything went perfectly but she probably wants further.”
Richard Hills, jockey, Zanzamar, 4th – “He ran a nice race and he stayed well. It was a good run.”
Frankie Dettori, jockey, Xin Xu Lin, 5th – “He runs better on grass.”
Jamie Spencer, jockey, Alexander Pope, 6th – “My fellow ran a great race. He'll probably improve from that and that distance is about as far as he wants to go.”
Christope Lemaire, jockey, Ahlaain, 7th – “He made a little run and he did well, but today was a tough race and perhaps he has a little less class than others.”
Kevin Shea, jockey, Reem, 8th – “I was travelling well in the first part of the race but then something didn't feel right. It's not her trip.”
Shinji Fujita, jockey, Laser Bullet, 9th - “He was roaring, it might have affected his performance.”
John Murtagh, jockey, Splash Point, 10th – “I had a good trip but the distance might have been a little long for him.”
William Buick, jockey, Utley, 11th – “I was bumped in the first turn but I had good position behind the winner the whole way, but my fellow got tired. I think perhaps he's a miler.”
Ahmed Ajtebi, jockey, Introvert, 12th – “We ran him on the same ground before and he ran no good. He prefers grass.”
Tom Queally, jockey, Sweet Ducky, 13th – “Mid division all the way. We were never a factor.”
Martin Dwyer, jockey, Mantoba, 14th – “That was a struggle. He was beaten too far out to make any real judgment.”