Godolphin is finally targeting the Dubai Duty Free, Gr.1 over 1777m with LADY MARIAN (Nayef-LA FELICITA). The filly, bred by Graf und Grafin Stauffenberg and now in the ownership of the ruler of Dubai, will be ridden by Frankie Dettori. He was very impressed with the last work of the filly and so has choosen her from the three horses entered in the race by Godolphin.
However as Globeform states in a Dubai preview, it will be "the toughest race of the night" and with 10 Gr.1 winners from the 16 entries it sounds as exactly that. They see the chances of LADY MARIAN as
"LADY MARIAN, bought by Godolphin after her excellent win against the favourite Lush Lashes in the Prix de lĂ˘â‚¬â„˘Opera (G1) at Longchamp last October, has been switched to this event from the Sheema Classic, where she would have had to step up to 12 furlongs. She now takes a drop in distance, but the Duty Free is shaping up to be a race with plenty of pace, and she must be respected. After running unplaced in a handicap earlier in the season, she improved throughout 2008, landing a G3 at Hamburg in July, finishing second to Rosenreihe in the Deutsches Oaks (G1) and winning from Treat Gently in the Prix de la Nonette (G3) at Deauville in August. The Opera was a much toughesr task but Lady Marian won it in really good style. The only blot was her reluctance to enter the stall when she visited Paris. Once racing, she did everything required. She advanced to take the lead inside the final furlong, and ran on too strongly for the persistent challenger Lush Lashes in the closing stages. Katiyra was third and Treat Gently finished fourth. 2000 metres was clearly a distance that suited Lady Marian last year but her G3 win in Germany was gained over 2200 metres and she should be able to stay further this season. She has not races over shorter than 2000 since her juvenile days, when Lady MarianĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s two starts came over 1600 metres (well beaten in both). Two questions regarding her run in the Duty Free: Is she sharp enough first time out, and is she going to be able to handle the drop in distance."