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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Rain no soft touch in MeydanHeadlines
Paul Hanagan

Soft Falling Rain stretched his 100% record to five with an authoritative victory in the UAE 2000 Guineas at Meydan.

The Mike de Kock-trained runner justified his short price of 8-11 in this Group Three with a smooth success when tackling a mile for the first time.

Paul Hanagan had Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum's colt just behind the Tom Dascombe-trained leader Deauville Prince in the early stages. Hanagan set sail for home at the top of the straight and asserted to win by two and a quarter lengths from Snowboarder with Zahee, also trained by De Kock, third.

"I have to say a great team effort from Mike de Kock and the lads. He was a bit fresh the first two runs. He's totally gone the right way now - lovely and relaxed," Hanagan told At The Races.

"There's always a bit of doubt in your mind (about a longer trip), but the way he relaxed last time and from sitting on him at home I was always pretty confident."

Godolphin enjoyed a four-timer with Mental, Moonwalk In Paris, Kassiano and Anatolian all obliging. Mental (7-2) wore down the De Kock-trained Kavanagh in the last 50 yards to land the spoils in the Al Shindagha Sprint.

Mickael Barzalona found an extra gear out of the Mahmood Al Zarooni-trained five-year-old to grab the six-furlong Group Three by a length with Krypton Factor third. Irish raider Balmont Mast, trained by Eddie Lynam, stuck on well for fourth.

Al Zarooni and Barzalona also struck with Anatolian in the Range Rover Sprint Trophy (Handicap). Brought with a well-timed run, the 13-8 favourite was a length and a quarter too strong for Topclas. Bob Le Beau, trained by Jessica Harrington, faded after being up with the pace until the straight.

Ahmed Ajtebi conjured an incredible run on Moonwalk In Paris (9-2) to snatch the third Group Three on the card, the Firebreak Stakes. He managed to weave his way through to the rail on the five-year-old, also trained Al Zarooni, and win from stablemate Fullbright by two lengths, with Barbecue Eddie third.

Saeed bin Suroor went one better when saddling the first three home for Godolphin in the Range Rover Evoque Trophy (Handicap) headed by the Silvestre de Sousa-ridden Kassiano, while Jamie Spencer brought the David Simcock-trained Trade Storm (9-1) from last to first to take the Jaguar XF Trophy (Handicap) by three and three-quarter lengths.

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