29 November 2015

Seemar pair on top of the hill

Satish Seemar saddled the 1-2 in the official feature, an 1800m conditions race, at Jebel Ali on Friday afternoon, with stable jockey, Richard Mullen, leading close home on Farrier, denying Mawhub who tried gallantly to make all under apprentice Hector Crouch.

For Farrier, it was a third consecutive appearance in the feature at Jebel Ali’s third meeting of the season, although in each of the last two years it was contested over 1950m, the same trip as the Listed Jebel Ali Stakes.

Second to subsequent Listed Jebel Ali Stakes winner, Jutland, who was well beaten on this occasion, last year, Farrier had beaten the same horse in the 2013 renewal and was winning for the first time since, exactly two years later.

“It has been a while coming but he deserves to get his head back in front,” said Mullen. “He always seems to run well fresh and obviously acts well here at Jebel Ali.

“He stays further so I knew he would run all the way to the line.

“We also knew Mawhub was in good form and he too goes particularly well here. I was a bit worried about giving him 3kgs because of Hector’s claim.

“In fairness, Hector gave Mawhub a great ride but luckily, for me, my fellow was finishing strongly and we hit the front just in time. The horses have been running well and it is a big result for the whole team.”

Jutland was not the only big race winner in action with Muarrab, last season’s Listed Jebel Ali Sprint victor, demolishing his three opponents in a 1200m conditions race.

Always prominent under Dane O’Neill, riding for his main employer, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Muraab quickened clear about 500m from home and the race, as a contest, was over.

Trained by Musabah Al Muhairi, completing a rapid double, Muarrab has now won eight times at Jebel Ali, five times over 1200m and three over the 1000m of the Jebel Ali Sprint.

His only defeat at his favourite track was suffered on his first visit, over 1400m, in February 2013.

“Obviously he looked the one to beat coming into the race,” said O’Neill. “I was always happy and he really quickened nicely when I asked him. When he hits that hill he just strides out so powerfully.

“It is the perfect start to his season and he was very impressive. You just never know how they will go first time out but he was good today.

“I assume the Jebel Ali Sprint will be the main target again.”

Thirty minutes earlier, Al Muhairi’s stable jockey, Fernando Jara, drove Art Wave to a hard fought success in a 1400m handicap, a third UAE victory for the horse, all over this course and distance.

The pair led in the final 100m to deny Not A Given who had led from just after halfway.

“The 1400m here at Jebel Ali really suits him,” said Jara. “I had been warned he is not always the easiest, especially when in front, but I hoped he would pick up when I asked him and he dug deep for a gutsy win.”

Arguably the weakest of the three handicaps was the concluding one over 1000m but a winner is a winner and O’Neill was back in the winner’s enclosure after the smooth victory of Mushaakis.

Trained by Ali Rashid Al Raihe, Mushaakis is also owned by Sheikh Hamdan and was supplementing his 1400m course victory from two weeks earlier.

Jutland, was somewhat disappointing in the feature but his trainer, Doug Watson, and jockey Pat Dobbs, had already a registered a double in the first two races.

The opening 1400m maiden may not have been the strongest race of its nature but it produced a great result for Watson who saddled Tadarrok to beat stable companion Just A Penny.

Having looked all over the winner when cruising into contention 600m out, Tadarrok took a while to pick up under stable jockey, Dobbs with Sam Hitchcott and Just A Penny having stolen the initiative.

However, Dobbs’ mount found plenty for pressure, leading about 100m out with his stable companion holding off Mountain Lion to secure second.

“This is actually our 50th winner worldwide,” said Justin Byrne, representing winning owners, EERC (Emirates Entertainment Racing Club. “We had our first success in Bahrain last Friday and was hoping to reach the 50 at Sharjah or Abu Dhabi last week.

“That was not to be but were very hopeful today as Tadarrok ran very well on his first start for us, here over 1200m, and we hoped the extra 200m would suit.

“He was a relatively cheap purchase and hopefully he will be a fun horse for us going forward from this.”

Dobbs made every post a winning one in the longest race on the card, a 1950m handicap, making all on Busatto, having only his second start in the UAE and first on dirt.

Seemingly a bit disappointing at Abu Dhabi on his first start for Watson, when ridden more patiently, he clearly enjoyed bowling along in front here. Having set a fair gallop in the first half of the race, Dobbs was able to increase the tempo early in the straight and the pair always looked like maintaining their advantage.

At the line, they were three-quarters of a length clear of Absolute Sway, himself a neck ahead of Right And Righteous with both horses staying on well in the final 300m.

“He is a nice horse and a decent addition to the yard,” said Dobbs. “He has relished this dirt surface and it was a good performance. It would be nice to think he can build on this and has more to offer.

“He clearly stays well but also showed a bit of toe when I asked him to quicken.”