sport

Prince reigns at Meydan

Prince Bishop starred in a treble for Saeed bin Suroor in the Group One Al Maktoum Challenge Round Three on Super Saturday at Meydan.

The seven-year-old, winner of Round Two on his previous start, is set to return for the Dubai World Cup in three weeks following a gutsy display.

The 5-1 chance burst through to lead inside the final furlong under Kieren Fallon and score by a length and a quarter from Sanshaawes with Surfer third.

"I didn't think the gap was going to come and then when I went to take it, it closed quickly, but I had the horse to get me out of trouble," said Fallon.

"He's done nothing but improve and is going from strength to strength. Hopefully he will continue improving and do well on the big night.

"I wanted to be closer, but he was in the stalls for a long time and got a little bit restless. I put a hood on him to try to keep him calm.

"They went a good gallop for the first furlong then eased it up going round the turn, but I had the horse so I was lucky."

Bin Suroor said: "We have always really liked this horse and he seems to have improved this season. His win in the middle round was a good one, but this was a better race and we are delighted with him.

"All being well, we will bring him back for the Dubai World Cup itself in three weeks."

Fallon and bin Suroor had earlier teamed up with Excellent Result (9-1), who pipped stablemate Songcraft in the Group Two Dubai City Of Gold.

Battle Of Marengo made the running until well into the straight and, though plenty had chances, it was the four-year-old Excellent Result who stole the honours by a head to lead a Godolphin one-two.

Fallon said: "In the end I got the lucky (and) the gap came for me, but I was in trouble for a long way up the straight. I had nowhere to go.

"This is a good horse in the making. He's a big baby and is still improving."

Shuruq (14-1) initiated a bin Suroor treble by flooring the 4-7 shot Variety Club with a late surge to claim the Burj Nahaar.

Variety Club looked to have the Group Three in the bag when he went past Capital Attraction, but he had no answer as Mickael Barzalona brought the filly to lead in the last 100 yards and win by a length and three-quarters.

"She's a tough filly and is improving all the time. I have spoken to Sheikh Mohammed and we have decided to run her in the Godolphin Mile," said the trainer.

Trainer Mike de Kock and jockey Christophe Soumillon were in double-winning form thanks to Vercingetorix and Shea Shea.

The former enjoyed a cosy success in the Group One Jebel Hatta after stablemate Anaerobio had made the running.

He came off the rail just after the home turn and let in Vercingetorix (2-1 favourite) who took full advantage and pulled clear to win by a length and three-quarters.

Vancouverite snatched second spot from Anaerobio close home.

"The horse was quite nervous. In the gate he was moving a lot. I was a bit scared he might hurt himself, but finally he jumped out quite well," said Soumillon.

"Anaerobio was out there in front and made a good pace for us. It was a great result for the team as we have all been working hard for that."

Shea Shea (6-4 favourite) put up a scintillating display to repeat last year's win in the Meydan Sprint.

Soumillon switched his mount to the stands rail and it paid off as he stormed into the lead and held Ahtoug by head.

De Kock said: "Had he run second or third I'd have been disappointed because I know he's still got a bit to come."

Richard Hughes was at his brilliant best as he made most of Asmar's stamina to run out an easy winner of the Al Bastakiya.

After a steady early pace, Hughes took Fawzi Nass' maiden to the front a long way out and kept on to win by six lengths.

"It was a great ride and a wonderful result for a small yard. We will be back for the UAE Derby in three weeks but, obviously, that will be a stronger race," said Nass.

Rich Tapestry (10-1) is headed for the Golden Shaheen on Dubai World Cup night after springing a surprise in the Mahab Al Shimaal.

Based in Hong Kong with Michael Chang, the ex-Irish trained six-year-old was steered to victory by Olivier Doleuze by a length and a quarter.

Chang said: "He always travels well on the bridle and in the last 200 metres he kicked. It's a great feeling.

"You will see him in three weeks 'time in the Golden Shaheen., I think he will find between five and 10 per cent improvement."