Conclusion Wins Jebel Ali Feature; Seemar Shines With Four Wins On The Night

Racing at Jebel Ali on Friday afternoon was officially highlighted by a 1950m handicap which, with the maximum field allowed, 16, facing the starter looked ultra-competitive on paper but was turned into a procession by Conclusion.

Trained by Musabbeh Al Mheiri for Galaxy Racing, the 5-year-old entire, foaled in Japan and a son of super sire Deep Impact, swept to the front with about 250m remaining and powered clear under Fernando Jara to record his third career victory but first in the UAE. A dual winner in Ireland for Aidan O’Brien, he arrived locally in the care of Mike de Kock, running just twice on turf for the South African last year. Well beaten on dirt, at Meydan then Sharjah on his first two starts this season, he has been kept busy, racing five times on turf before making this Jebel Ali debut a winning one.

Al Mheiri said: “He is a nice horse and one we know stays well. He has really coped with conditions and that was a good performance.”

Fresu, partnering his 100th UAE winner, added: “That long straight has really suited him and it was a nice surprise because he ran badly on dirt at Sharjah and Meydan, but the finish and hill here he has really enjoyed. It is great to reach 100 in a feature race and depending on what the handicapper does, he could be a Jebel Ali Stake horse over this course and distance.

The main support race, a 1400m handicap, was won almost as easily by Pilgrim’s Treasure who under Tadhg O’Shea chased what appeared a very generous early gallop in the centre, with the 13 runners spread right across the track. They quickened to the front about 300m from home and were never in any danger of being caught. A 6-year-old Dubawi entire owned by Ailan Hamad Kadfoor Al Mehairi, he was completing doubles on the card for O’Shea and trainer Satish Seemar while, in the process, recording a third career success and second for current connections having previously landed a 1400m handicap on the Meydan dirt in March 2018.

Seemar said: “This horse may not have won for a while, but has generally run well in the interim. He has had a few small niggling issues, but hopefully we have sorted them out now,”

O’Shea added: “They went a good gallop and my fellow was always going nicely in behind before quickening well when I asked him to. It was a good effort.”

The fixture kicked off with a 1950m maiden which was won relatively comfortably by Majestic Thunder, partnered by O’Shea for Seemar and Touch Gold Racing. In a race very few of the 12 runners were able to get competitive, O’Shea, having settled his mount in midfield, drove to the front 200m out, the pair sweeping past Dilmun Dynasty and running on strongly. A 5-year-old gelded son of Dubawi, he was opening his account at the seventh attempt, having twice finished runner-up, over 1200m here at Jebel Ali then 1600m at Meydan on his first two starts this season before three more outings, beaten more than five lengths in each of them.

Seemar said: “He has not been an easy horse to gauge his best trip and he has thrown a race away here in the past when hanging badly, but Tadhg has done a good job with him today. That will have done his confidence a power of good, so we will look for races over this course and distance as well as now he has won, perhaps trying him at Meydan again.”

Seemar was back in the winner’s enclosure for a third time, combining with stable jockey Richard Mullen to land a 1400m maiden restricted to 3-year-olds with Sanad Libya, having his first start for the master of Zabeel Stables. On his only previous start he finished third over 1600m, as a juvenile in early December for Doug Watson. A Tapiture colt, owned by H And B, he flew home up the hill in the final 300m to pass both What A Metal and Midnight Deal in the closing 50m.

Seemar said: “It has been a good afternoon and I am lucky to have so many nice horses for such good owners.”

Mullen added: “We like this horse and have done since he joined us, but Doug and his team deserve a lot of credit because we have not had him long. He has needed that stiff hill over 1400m because he is going to be better over further looking ahead.”

The jockey then completed a quick double and a quartet of winners for Seemar with the smooth victory of Midlander, owned by Ali Haddad, in the concluding 1000m handicap. Having chased the pace on the far side, with the 12 runners fanning out across the track, Mullen sent the 8-year-old Shamardal gelding for home soon after halfway, the pair hitting the front about 250m out and pulling away from toiling rivals. It was a seventh career victory for the horse, but just second in the UAE, the previous one a 1000m Al Ain handicap in March last year, that being his first win since September 2015.

Mullen said: “This horse has always worked like a very good one and it is something of a mystery how he has only won twice for us, but he did that in good style on what has been a great afternoon for the whole team.”

Having finished runner-up on his three previous outings, caught close home on each occasion having tried to make all here at Jebel Ali, few could begrudge Tailor’s Row his deserved victory in the 1800m handicap, soon in front under Royston Ffrench and thereafter never headed. Trained by Salem bin Ghadayer for Musab Abdulqader Mohd Al Rais, the 6-year-old Street Cry gelding was registering a fourth career success, second in the UAE, first at Jebel Ali and for bin Ghadayer whom he has joined this season from Omar Daraj.

Bin Ghadayer said: “The horse deserved that having finished second on his three previous starts since joining us, but he was able to hold on today under a good ride from Royston.”

Ffrench added: “This horse has been running well and thankfully he has managed to keep his head in front this time after three good runs in defeat.”

Young jockey Adam McLean, a key member of Doug Watson’s team at Red Stables, rode his first winner of the campaign when partnering Native Appeal to victory, for his boss, in a 1600m handicap. Sporting the silks of Mohd Khalifa Al Basti, wearing a distinguishing red cap on seemingly the third string for both owner and trainer, he produced the 5-year-old Exceed And Excel gelding to collar Celtic Prince, who had led from early in the long straight, inside the final 200m.

Watson said: “He ran poorly here the only other time we tried him at Jebel Ali, but Adam has given him a great ride and I am delighted for him because he works hard for us riding out in the mornings. To be honest, that was something of a nice surprise because his best run for us was on turf, so this gives us more options.”

McLean added: “That is my first winner for the team, so I have to say a big thank to him and the owner, Mr Al Basti. The instructions were simple, basically to let the horse find a rhythm he was happy in. Then he has really enjoyed running past horses in the straight and finished well up the hill.”