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Goodwood Cup to be “main target” for Vazirabad

25 Mar 2017

Alain de Royer-Dupre says Dubai Gold Cup winner is bound for England this summer

Sheikhzayedroad ran a typically good race at Meydan on Saturday. Picture: Racingfotos.com

Vazirabad put a number of Britain’s top stayers in their place in the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan on Saturday and now looks bound for a race or two in the QIPCO British Champions Series this summer.

After the five-year-old had swooped from well off the pace to take the two-mile feature for the second successive year, Alain de Royer-Dupre suggested the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and Qatar Goodwood Cup could be on his agenda.

The French trainer said: “He’s a good horse with a great jockey and I think his main target this year will be the new Group One at Goodwood [Goodwood Cup], but we will also think about the Gold Cup as long as the ground is not too quick for him there.

“Every time he races he gets better and because of this I was confident of a good effort from him.

“He likes to come from the back and Christophe took his time and picked them off one by one.”

Vazirabad won by a neck from Saeed Bin Suroor’s Beautiful Romance, although the winning margin did not reflect his true superiority as he came from an unpromising position.

Sheikhzayedroad, a dual winner in the Champions Series last year, ran a typically game race to be another length and a quarter back in third.

Martin Harley, jockey of Sheikhzayedroad, said: “I was a little bit unlucky, he travelled good, was nice and relaxed all the way and I thought there was plenty of room up the straight, but I was slightly hemmed in by Christophe’s horse and without that I might have been second. But I would not have beaten the winner.”

Big Orange, the two-time Goodwood Cup hero, was a creditable fourth, but Quest For More (ninth) and Trip To Paris (thirteenth) failed to figure on the rain-softened ground.

Conditions also turned against Limato, who failed to figure in the Al Quoz Sprint.