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A Lovely sweep for Godolphin in UAE Guineas
Godolphin's Lovely Pass became the first classic winner sired by Raven's Pass when grinding out a half-length success in Thursday's $250,000 U.A.E. One Thousand Guineas at Meydan. The Mahmood al Zarooni pupil topped a Godolphin trifecta, rounded out by Shuruq and Music Chart.
Even though jockey Ahmed Ajtebi wore the red cap, usually a sign of a lesser Godolphin hope, Lovely Pass actually stacked up as the team's best entrant. She had dusted the ostensible first-string, Music Chart, in an Ascot conditions race when last seen on September 8. Music Chart flattered Lovely Pass by taking the January 17 U.A.E. One Thousand Guineas Trial in her reappearance, and in the immediate aftermath, al Zarooni was quick to praise Lovely Pass.
Adding cheekpieces for this sophomore bow, Lovely Pass traveled conspicuously well in third as Mar Mar set the pace from Pure Excellence. When Ajtebi sent her after the front runner turning for home, Lovely Pass appeared poised to go clear, but she took a while to change leads and drifted out a bit on the course. Mar Mar kept on tenaciously on the rail, and the Godolphin pair of Shuruq and Music Chart closed from farther back.
Lovely Pass finally got organized in deep stretch and took command, outkicking Shuruq by a half-length. By covering the metric mile on Tapeta in 1:38 4/5, she earned her first stakes coup and improved her line to 5-3-0-1, $180,835.
"She is a talented filly undoubtedly but has her own ideas at times," Ajtebi said. "When she won on her debut she turned left as the stalls opened and did amazingly well to win. I won on her at Ascot so have now won both races in which I have ridden her.
"We will have to discuss plans, but the U.A.E. Oaks might be an option," the rider added of the next fillies' classic, a Group 3 at about 1 3/16 miles on February 28.
Shuruq had 1 1/4 lengths to spare over Music Chart, gaining revenge for her narrow loss in the Guineas Trial. Mar Mar, a Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed runner trained by bin Suroor, salvaged fourth and made it a superfecta for Godolphin trainers, if not the colors.
With the U.A.E. One Thousand Guineas appearing on the Road to the Kentucky Oaks schedule, Lovely Pass earned 10 points.