Igugu succumbs to Sajjhaa

  • Last Updated: February 21 2013, 17:53 GMT

Star South African mare Igugu suffered a surprise defeat to Sajjhaa on her reappearance in the Group Two Balanchine Stakes at Meydan.

Crisford (right): Winner has thrived

Mike de Kock's charge had carried all before her at home but had been off the track since winning the Group One J&B Met at Kenilworth last January.

Christophe Soumillon was positive from the off aboard Igugu, taking it up six furlongs out in the one-mile-one-furlong heat and she was on top turning for home.

However, she probably went off fast enough and began to flounder in the straight as Sajjhaa cruised up in the hands of Silvestre de Sousa.

She quickly cut down Igugu and when De Sousa gave the signal, the Saeed bin Suroor-trained mare accelerated away to supplement her recent Cape Verdi win.

Prussian tried to go with her but had to settle for second, with Igugu only third.

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Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said: "She's been fantastic.

"She's thrived in Dubai and that was a good performance.

"I think that is probably her maximum level here so we will take her back to Europe now and I think North America may be her target in the second half of the season," he told Sky Sports.

William Hill pushed Igugu out to 14/1 from 8s for the Dubai World Cup following her defeat, while cutting favourite Royal Delta by half a point to 4/1.

Godolphin's Con Artist had initiated an early brace for De Sousa and Bin Suroor in the Al Naboodah Travel & Tourism Agencies Trophy Handicap.

Ex-Aidan O'Brien inmate Await The Dawn bounced back to winning form in the Al Naboodah Commercial Group Trophy.

The six-year-old won the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2011 but had lost his way after letting down favourite-backers when only third in the Juddmonte International that year.

Transferred to the care of De Kock, Await The Dawn shrugged off an unplaced effort on his Carnival debut at the start of the month to run out a comfortable winner of this 10-furlong event.

De Kock said: "We were pretty confident as I thought he ran a cracker last time, even though he was unplaced.

"We are thinking about the Sheema Classic or maybe the two-mile race (Dubai Gold Cup) as I think he stays."


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De Kock made it a double as Mushreq landed the Group Two Al Fahidi Fort under Paul Hanagan.

The five-year-old, winner of a handicap at Meydan last month, was noted travelling well coming into the straight and when Hanagan switched him to the middle of the track, Mushreq soon assumed control.

Fellow De Kock inmates Master Of Hounds and Iguazu Falls tried to follow him through, but Mushreq had already flown.

Godolphin's Mandaean was well fancied after a win last month but he failed to take a hand in the finish.

Hanagan said: "He loves passing them and comes on the bridle. He's improved with every run."

De Kock added: "That was unbelievable, he's been a revelation at the Carnival.

"I suppose the next step is to make sure he gets into the Dubai Duty Free and has a crack at the Jebel Hatta (before then)."