It was a battle of the Dubai connections for the important Flemington spring two-year-old contest, the $150,000, Group 3 AAMI Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) on Saturday, and Run Naan won for Sheikh Khalifa Al Maktoum over Encryption for Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin stables.
Both colts came with runs that overran the early leaders with Run Naan under Andrew Mallyon settling further back in seventh from the barriers to Encryption under Damien Lane in fourth. Out in front were Belzella under Luke Currie, King and Kerrin McEvoy and Final Choice and Luke Nolen leading the way.
Encryption and Lane started to go forward with 250m to run and they made progress racing four off the rails while behind Mallyon was alert to the move and he sent Run Naan off to chase.
The early leaders were finding the sharp end of the race testing and Encryption caught them with 50m to run, but the danger was outside with Run Naan in full flight lengthening well to take the win with a neck margin. He came home over the final 200m in 11.11 to Encrption's 11.37 and it was too smart for all of the field.
Encryption, well bred by Lonhro out of the excellent racehorse Guelph (Exceed And Excel), was second in his second black type placing after a third in the listed Debutant Stakes over 1000m at Caulfield on October 14th.
Tony McEvoy trains Run Naan and he also had Belzella (Be Esprit) who stayed on well for third with the margin 1 1/2L. Bionics was fourth and Final Choice fifth.
Run Naan and Andrew Mallyon pass Encryption and Damien Lane, picture Quentinjlang.com
The time was 57.37 on the Good 3 track with the final 600m in a smart 32.97. Run Naan was overlooked by punters paying $13.00 on fixed odds and $13.00 on fixed odds and $12.20 on the NSW tote. The $3.00 favourite King faded to seventh.
“He is still a bit excitable but he got composed after we sent him out early (on to the track), he got down behind the gates and was a little bit better. He is a really good colt and I couldn’t have been more impressed with him today,” said McEvoy.
“He will grow up. I want him to settle down because I need to keep him as an entire. He is a pretty good colt this fellow and I will pop him aside now and we will come back in the autumn and ww will have a look at him then. This is a pretty big stage but the autumn is a bigger stage for these babies.”
“It takes the pressure off me and I can run him as little as I want to because he is there (qualified for stronger races). It’s really important and great to have this race on his CV - Sheikh Khalifa bred this horse and they sent this horse to me and they’ve bred a good colt,” he said.
"This was my only ride for the carnival, I made the most of it. I was very appreciative of a great opportunity given to me by Mr McEvoy. He is a lovely colt, and he has got a bright future," said Mallyon.
"He was the fresh legs late. I was confident throughout the whole race. He got a bit lost when I first peeled him to the outside, but he switched on - I put the whip in the right hand, and it was all over. He showed a really nice turn of foot, and he's going to get better too when he gets a bit older, and gets over a bit more of a trip,” he said.
Run Naan is by Makfi out of the Perfectly Ready mare Raneen and this was his second win after winning his debut over 1000m at Bendigo on October 21st. He has earned stakes of $102,100.
Fine win for Run Naan and Mallyon, picture Quentinjlang.com