Talento Puma Poised To Pounce On Thursday Meydan Feature

DUBAI (March 11, 2020)—Racing at Meydan returns on Thursday, a six-race card on the dirt surface and sponsored by pillar partner Longines. The first race is set for 6:30 p.m.

The evening is highlighted by a 1600m handicap for which 11 have been declared with the weights headed by Talento Puma, an impressive Jebel Ali winner on his most recent outing and fourth UAE appearance. Never headed in that effort, he has Xavier Ziani again in the saddle for Salem bin Ghadayer and Phoenix Ladies Syndicate. A 4-year-old Equal Talent colt, he was the winner of two of his three starts in his native Argentina before coming to Dubai.

“He faced a couple of stiff tasks on his first two starts and had not been here that long from Argentina,” Ziani said. “His third start at Meydan was a good effort and he won well at Jebel Ali. Hopefully there is more to come.”

Bin Ghadayer also saddles Magnificent McCool, the mount of Fernando Jara, who is to be ridden by Fernando Jara for Phoenix Thoroughbreds. A 4-year-old Giant’s Causeway colt, this will be just his third UAE outing, having joined Bin Ghadayer from Steve Asmussen. His one career success, when trained by Doug O’Neill, was registered over 1700m in a Santa Anita maiden in late December 2018.

At the foot of the weights is Kitaaby, a rare Thoroughbred runner for Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda and Ernst Oertel with the owner’s retained jockey, Tadhg O’Shea in the saddle. Now a 7-year-old, the Acclamation gelding has clearly had more than his fair share of problems and will be having just his fifth outing since he chased home Akeed Champion in the Listed 1400m HH The President Cup on the Abu Dhabi turf in February 2017. He was well beaten on his one start this season, at the beginning of November at Jebel Ali.

With the Satish Seemar team remaining in flying form, his Irish Freedom merits a second look with stable jockey Richard Mullen in the saddle. Thrice a winner in his native US, once for Brad Cox and twice previously when trained by Bob Baffert, the 6-year-old gelded son of Pioneerof The Nile has not been placed in five local outings.

The Red Stables of Doug Watson and yard jockey Pat Dobbs are represented by Lytham St Annes, a 7-year-old Bahamian Bounty gelding with four career victories to his name, three locally for Watson and all over 1200m. The most recent was last March and he is trying this Meydan 1600m for just the third time and since January 2019.

Watson also saddles Eshtiraak, one of two runners in the race set to carry the world-famous blue and white silks of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. He will be ridden by Sam Hitchcott with the owner’s second runner, Alkaamel, to be partnered by Antonio Fresu for Musabbeh Al Mheiri.

Elsewhere on the card, Al Mheiri will be hoping California Jumbo can follow up his victory of a fortnight ago and he faces 14 rivals over the same 1400m course and distance as for that victory. The opposition includes Davy Lamp, a 1400m winner just last Friday at Jebel Ali when losing his maiden tag and contributing to a double for trainer Rashed Bouresly.