Jockey Mickael Barzalona and Khawlah return after winning the UAE Derby.
The $2 million UAE Derby (G2) is the only age-restricted race on World Cup night, open only to 3-year-olds and meant to be the local prep for American Triple Crown contenders, however southern hemisphere 3-year-olds are recognized as 4-year-olds in the north and are not eligible for the Kentucky Derby. A field of 14 went to post in this 1900 meter (about 1 3/16 mile) trip around 2 turns of the Tapeta main track at Meydan Racecourse, with Australian-bred filly Mahbooba sent off as the 3-1 choice off her second place finish in the UAE Oaks (G3) after winning the UAE 1000 Guineas. In to challenge her included 4-1 second choice and Irish-bred filly Khawlah, winner of the UAE Oaks (G3) last out, and 6-1 third choice and Brazilian colt Xin Xu Lin, winner of the Carlos Pellegrini Stakes (G1) in Argentina after winning the Brazilian Derby (G1).
Khawlah and Master of Hounds battle in the stretch
4th RACE MEYDAN - UAE DERBY (Group 2) 11 Khawlah $9.20 $2.80 - 9 Master of Hounds $8.60 - 5 Mahbooba $3.20 - Running time - 1:58.83 $1 Exacta 11-9 $68.80 $1 Trifecta 11-9-5 $458.60 $1 Superfecta 11-9-5-8 $3351.30
Left: Khawlah in the winner's enclosure getting a pat from owner Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Simon Crisford, Godolphin racing manager said, "She'll come back for the Oaks and 1 1/2 miles will suit her very well in the summer. She'll get a nice break now and come back for one of the trials - if we find one that's above the tariffs - maybe the Musidora. She's a tough filly who is progressing. Mickael gave her a super ride and delivered her at just the right time. You can see she wants a trip - she's crying out for it."
Right: Khawlah in the paddock before the race. She is the first filly to win the UAE Derby
Left: Khawlah heads back to the barn in her new winner's blanket. Her jockey Mickael Barzalona said, "Credit to the filly. 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." I'm very, very proud."
Left: Second place finisher Master of Hounds in the paddock with trainer Aiden O'Brien on the far right. O'Brien said, "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 entitled 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."
Right: Third place finisher Mahbooba warms up before the race. Her jockey Christophe Soumillon said, "Had a great trip. Everything went perfectly but she probably wants further."
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