Global Weekly Review: Global campaign for Wuheida

J A McGrath

The day His Highness Sheikh Mohammed created Godolphin, he emphasised the international ambitions of the global stable that calls Dubai its home.

There was no big race in the world that was not on the agenda. Those ideals have been embraced by all Godolphin trainers, none more so than Charlie Appleby, who at the weekend sent talented filly Wuheida on an exploratory mission to Dusseldorf.

The fact that she was beaten into third in the G1 Preis der Diana, over one mile and three furlongs, otherwise known as the German Oaks, was not a worry to the trainer.

"What we learned in Germany on Sunday is that she doesn't stay that trip," Appleby pointed out.

"But having said that, the first two home (Lacazar and Megera) are both nice fillies and may be very smart.

"The next logical step is to drop Wuheida back in distance to one mile in the G1 Matron Stakes at Leopardstown on September 9 before taking her to the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, over nine furlongs, at Keeneland in mid-October," the trainer explained.

Those two targets maintain Godolphin policy of fielding runners in the world's best races.

One of the most popular 'foreign' targets for British trainers of sprinters is the G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest, which is run over the unusual distance of six and a half furlongs.

This year, the tough five-year-old Brando led home a 1-2-3-4 for British stables. Godolphin's previously unbeaten Rosa Imperial finished ninth and may have found the sharp step-up in class beyond her at this stage of her career.

The other international race of note at the weekend, Saratoga's G1 Whitney Stakes, went to Gun Runner, a remarkably consistent performer at the highest level, who has now won eight of his 15 starts.

Since finishing runner-up in last year's G1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, Gun Runner has won four of his five starts. He finished second to Arrogate in the G1 Dubai World Cup at Meydan in his only defeat in that period.

Keen Ice made up a lot of ground in the closing stages but never looked likely to catch the impressive winner.