Rain sets new stakes record in Dubai
The Cape bred champion, Soft Falling Rain, set a new stakes record when winning Thursday night’s Gr3 UAE Guineas.
The time for the Guineas had previously been set by Musir back in, but Soft Falling Rain outperformed that former champion with a time of 1:36 3/5 –smashing the former record of 1:37 2/5.
The Highlands Farm bred colt is now unbeaten in six starts, and really looks something very special. Soft Falling Rain was sent out a prohibitive favourite for the 1600m contest, despite trying the trip for the first time, and having to give weight all round.
It proved a one horse race, with Soft Falling Rain running out a comfortable two and a quarter length victor over a field which included the Breeders Cup placed colt, Fortify.
Thursday’s night’s triumph also provided owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum with his first UAE 2000 Guineas win.
The colt could be aimed at an English campaign later in the year, with Mike de Kock, who celebrated his birthday in fine style, mentioning a race like the G1 July Cup as a possible target.
Soft Falling Rain was a R350 000 buy at the inaugural, 2011 Cape Premier Yearling Sale.
He is one of Gr1 winners by the outstanding sire National Assembly, still living at the advanced age of 29.
His dam, Gardener’s Delight, is by the champion racehorse and sire Giant’s Causeway, and is from the family of US Gr1 winners Habibti, Gal In A Ruckus and Breeders Cup hero Eldaafer.
The Guineas was also a triumph for champion trainer Mike de Kock, who was winning the classic for a fifth time. De Kock also saddled the third placed finisher Zahee to give the stable a memorable 1-3 finish.
Soft Falling Rain was not the only Cape bred horse to catch the eye at Thursday’s big race meeting.
The Wilgerbosdrift bred and owned Kavanagh put up a world-class performer to run second to Australian G1 winner Mental in the $200,000, Gr3 Al Shindagha Sprint. Kavanagh, a son of Tiger Ridge, was only narrowly run out of it by Kavanagh late in the race, and he should win in Dubai soon.