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HRN Original Blog:
Across the Pond

Exceptional Ihtimal

Ihtimal UAE Oaks 615 X 400
Photo: Dubai Racing Club/Andrew Watkins

Ihtimal provided a visual display of perfection on Thursday at Meydan, as the three year old filly romped to victory by a record-breaking ten length margin and increase her perfect tally to two in the UAE Oaks.

Settled towards the rear of the pack, the heavily favoured 4/11 favourite was faced with the new challenge of a paceless first half mile in the UAE Oaks contest, but despite this test she was able to pick up and run on in the manner of an exceptional filly as she powered to the head of the pack, never looking back as she pulled away with effortless ease.

A three year old daughter of Shamardal, Ihtimal announce her presence last season with a dominant display in the Group II May Hill Stakes at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting, but despite a disappointing defeat in the GI Fillies’ Mile next time out – in which she finished behind the subsequent GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf victor Chriselliam – Ihtimal has bounced back to her inspired best at Meydan this year, performing in a manner that no filly could rival in both of her Dubai Classic victories.

“It looked easy for her tonight,” said winning jockey Silvestre de Sousa. “She improved from her previous race and the trip suited her. She has some class.”

With her second victory Ihtimal has struck fear into the hooves of her European rivals, whom will lock horns with the race-fit Godolphin filly in the fillies English Classic, the 1,000 Guineas, on May 4th. However, whilst that race will surely see Ihtimal perform creditably, it may yet be the Oaks at Epsom in which she performs at her utmost best.

A best priced 10-1 for both the 1,000 Guineas and the Epsom Classic, the Epsom contest will be run over three furlongs further than her UAE Oaks dominance, over a distance which many bloodstock experts believe will see the three year old perform to her most exceptional best.

A half sister to Prix de Diane winner West Wind, if Ihtimal can indeed reign supreme in the Epsom Classic, she will provide Sheikh Mohammed and his Godolphin operation with their first Epsom Classic since their familiar royal blue silks took over from Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley-owned maroon and white silks. 

 

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Older Comments about Exceptional Ihtimal...

Nevermind, I see up top she was bred in Ireland.
Brian: Is she a Northern Hemisphere 3yo or a Southern Hemisphere 3yo?
I'd love to see them rethink the UAE Derby ... Clearly she loves this surface, still plenty of time for the 1000 Gunieas, and Godolphin has never been shy about stacking the deck for a big race in Dubai.
This was and incredible win for Ihtimal. She made this look easy and I hope she continues that level of performance.

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Meet Dan Munn

Dan Munn is the Chief International Correspondent for Horse Racing Nation, covering the premier races from Europe as well as introducing and updating our readers on the very best of African, Asian and Australasian thoroughbred competition.

Based in England, Dan became a regular contributor to Horse Racing Nation in 2012 and continues to bring us the most up to date news from Europe with some exclusive interviews and answers to the questions we all want to ask along the way.