Victory in 2019 Dubai World Cup Carnival opener for Bin Battuta

Bin Battuta quickened strongly to beat Ispolini as the Godolphin duo fought out the finish to the opening contest of the 2019 Dubai World Cup Carnival, a 12-furlong turf handicap at Meydan, UAE, on Thursday, 3 January.

The five-year-old Dubawi horse (Saeed bin Suroor/Christophe Soumillon), off the course since finishing second in a 14-furlong heritage handicap at York, UK, in August, 2017, settled in third on the inside as the third Godolphin runner Big Challenge (Saeed bin Suroor/Hayley Turner) took the nine-strong field along at a steady pace.

Ispolini (Charlie Appleby/James Doyle), who raced in fourth towards the outside, cruised up to challenge with a furlong and a half remaining.

Bin Battuta came between horses at the same time, quickly led and soon opened up daylight over his rivals to score under a hands and heels ride by a length and a half eased down from Ispolini in 2m 32.41s on good ground.

Saeed bin Suroor commented: “We gave Bin Battuta a long break after his last run and he looks much better physically now - he is a different horse in the mornings compared to previously.

“The pace wasn’t too quick, but Bin Battuta was always in a nice position tonight and finished his race well.

“I think a mile and six furlongs or further might suit him better in the future. We will probably run him in another 12-furlong handicap and then look at Group races for him.

“He could be a horse for the Dubai Gold Cup (G2, 2m) on Dubai World Cup Night (March 30).”