Universal (Dubawi – Winesong, by Giant’s Causeway) continued a terrific week for his Darley-based sire Dubawi with a strong on-pace win in the Group 2 Princess Of Wales’s Stakes (12f) at Newmarket.
Dubawi’s son Al Kazeem (Dubawi – Kazeem, by Darshaan) strode to his third straight Group 1 win in last Saturday’s Eclipse Stakes (10f) at Sandown while the sire’s half-sister Emirates Queen (Street Cry – Zomaradah, by Deploy) earned her maiden stakes win in the Group 2 Yorkshire Oaks (12f) on the same day.
Universal won the Group 3 John Porter Stakes (12f) at Newbury in April and the Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes (12f) at Newmarket in May but found the late Thomas Chippendale (Dansili – All My Loving, by Sadler’s Wells) and Dandino (Dansili – Generous Diana, by Generous) too strong in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (12f) during the Royal Ascot carnival.
Universal faced five rivals in the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes with jockey Joe Fanning sending the four-year-old straight to the front, controlling the race for the first mile. The chestnut worked to his top three furlongs out before staying on strongly late, drawing away to score by 2-1/2 lengths.
Top trainer Mark Johnston said Universal had the potential to become a top international performer in the coming seasons. Johnston attributed Universal’s impressive recent form to a trip to Dubai for the World Cup carnival earlier in 2013.
“He ran one good race in Dubai, but has been a complete revelation since he returned home,” Johnston said.
“We were running him mostly over a mile and a quarter last year, but always thought he would stay further and it would be very interesting to see this horse over a mile and six (furlongs) in something like the Irish St Leger.
“He’s in the King George and although the heart says King George, the head would maybe say things like the Irish Leger, the Canadian International and the Japan Cup.
“Those would be the dreams that are in my head at the moment. He’s not really an international horse yet, but he looks like one that could be.”
Fiorente (Monsun – Desert Bloom, by Pilsudski) won the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes before running second in the 2012 Melbourne Cup.