ISMAIL THANKS HIS LUCKY NUMBERS
THE lucky numbers came up trumps when Zain Claudette floored the well-backed favourite Sandrine in the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes in the opener at York.
“At Ascot (where successful last month) she was in stall seven and was number 11 – and today the same,” said winning trainer Ismail Mohammed. ”These are my lucky numbers. “Seven is also Sheikh Mohammed’s lucky number and 11 was the late Hamdan Al Maktoum’s lucky number.
“She’s the best I have trained up to now.
“We will go to Newmarket (Cheveley Park Stakes) now. I asked the jockey (Ray Dawson) if she could stay further and he said ‘no problem’, so next year, we will go for the 1,000 Guineas.”
Mohammed has an interesting back story that involves skirmishes with the authorities over drug use. He also trains 300 endurance horses in Dubai.
A jubilant Dawson – who lost his claim just a week ago and last year spoke candidly about his battles with addiction – said: “She’s improved with every run and she deserved to win that on her performance.
“Going forwards, Group One is definitely not out of the equation, she’s just so straightforward and you can see she’s so relaxed.
“It’s just an absolute pleasure to be a part of it.”
Andrew Balding, out of luck with Sandrine, was soon back in the winners’ enclosure after Harrow, partnered by Oisin Murphy, took the EBF Handicap.