Empire Maker Filly Mnasek Dominates UAE Oaks

The second fillies’ Classic of the Dubai World Cup Carnival, the 1900m (1 3/16 miles) dirt Group 3 UAE Oaks, was turned into a procession by Mnasek who scored a 6 1/2-length victory under Pat Dobbs, the pair far too good for six toiling rivals.

It was a third UAE Oaks success in six years for Dobbs, actually riding this filly for the first time in a race, and Doug Watson who also combined to land the race in 2016 with Polar River and Rayya two years later.

“She just goes out there and and tries hard,” said Watson. “We’ve done very little with her since she ran. She’s a small filly and she has a lot of talent. We worked her in company out of the gate and that helped. Today she didn’t enjoy being behind and when she was tipped out you could see it. She was the best filly. I don’t know if they’ll want to run her in the Derby, but who knows. Fair dues to Shane (Ryan, starter) and the gate crew. The did a great job helping us out. Obviously, she’s a little funny in the gate and she broke great tonight. (The owners) should send her to America. That’s her second win here. She’s got a lot of options over there. If she stays sound and training like she is, she could win over there.”

Owned by Al Rashid Stables, the daughter of Empire Maker won her debut, over 1400m (seven furlongs), in December despite completely blowing the start. She was then very slowly away over 1600m (one mile) in the Listed UAE 1000 Guineas, staying on late to snatch second.

However, she broke on level terms this time and, once switched off the rail about 1200m from home, soon loomed as a massive danger to Godolphin’s Last Sunset who hit the front, briefly, leaving the home turn. As soon as Dobbs said ‘go’ the race was over with Last Sunset losing second place close home to Nayefah who stayed on dourly having been held up in last.

“She’s very brave,” jockey Pat Dobbs said of Mnasek. “She didn’t enjoy the early part of the race, getting the kickback, but once she got out, she travelled super. She stays very well. She’s a little bit light-mouthed, but she’s got a big heart and is a lovely mover.”

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