Congrats’ undefeated 3-year-old filly Polar River made it four straight victories on Thursday at Meydan with a deceptively easy three-quarter length victory in the $250,000 UAE Oaks (G3).
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Facing just two foes, perhaps due to Polar River dominating the division throughout the meet, Polar River broke in air but quickly recovered to race just outside of former Group 1 winner Vale Dori. Pat Dobbs sat motionless on Polar River for the better part of seven furlongs before urging his filly to the lead at the top of the stretch. She quickly opened up by daylight, and then coasted home once comfortably in front.
“That got close at the end,” trainer Doug Watson noted. “[Dobbs] just kind of eased up on her there and we didn’t want a hard race. She put it to bed pretty quickly after the turn in. It was a Group 1 winner she was facing there and (Vale Dori’s trainer) Mike (de Kock) is a great trainer, so I’m glad to get away with it.
“I’d like to have won easier but we knew it was a Group 1 winner and likely the best filly she’s faced,” Watson added. “They set a slow pace and it kind of turned into a sprint, and when she did sprint she sprinted away and it looked like he was pretty easy on her.”
Polar River covered the 1,900 meters in 2:00.57. She has now banked $365,423 for owners Valentin Bukhtoyarov and Evgeny Kappushev.
Polar River’s next start could be against males in the UAE Derby (G1) on March 26, and then possibly the Kentucky Oaks (G1) on May 6.
Polar River is one of three 2016 graded stakes winners by Congrats, and one of six black type winners, both numbers that rank number one in the respective categories on the General Sire list.