11 February 2023

Fanaar lands Jebel Ali Mile for race sponsor Shadwell

Jebel Ali staged a six-race card on Saturday afternoon, highlighted by the track’s biggest race of the season, The Group 3 Jebel Ali Mile which transpired was all about Shadwell who not only sponsored the contest but supplied the winner, Fanaar, with Sheikha Hissa bint Hamdan Al Maktoum present to witness it.

Obviously over 1600m, the feature was being won by Doug Watson for a fourth time with the world famous blue and white silks carried to victory in the event for the sixth occasion.

Settled in midfield by Dane O’Neill, the 7yo gelded son of Dark Angel loomed just behind the leaders approaching the final 350m before striking for home about 100m later. They never looked likely to be denied, the pair celebrating a third course success this season, having won twice late last year over 1400m.

Watson said: “He has been a star this season here at Jebel Ali and it is great that Sheikha Hissa was here to support him. I am delighted for her, the horse and all my team. It was a great result and very pleasing for everybody concerned.”

A conditions contest over the same 1000m minimum trip as the Listed sprint feature itself, the Jebel Ali Sprint Prep Trophy, attracted a field of nine and early leader, Meshakel was joined approaching the final 200m by Alkaraama, Royal Commando and Story Of Light.

As Meshakel dropped away, Alkaraama’s effort petered out with about 125m remaining, he eventually finishing fourth with Upper Class snatching third late home. Meanwhile, Royal Commando battled away but was never going to thwart Story Of Light, Ray Dawson in the saddle for Ahmad bin Harmash and Mohammed Ahmad Ali Al Subousi.

A 6yo Dark Angel gelding, he was winning for just the second time but first in the UAE and on dirt.

Dawson said: “I am delighted for the horse, trainer and owner and they have deserved that success. He is a horse we always really liked but has not enjoyed much luck so we thought we would try something new which worked out perfectly.”

The card commenced with a 1400m handicap and, fresh from their Group 2 Blue Point Sprint glory with Miqyaas at Meydan yesterday evening, Rashed Bouresly, Oscar Chavez and the Bouresly Racing Syndicate were sharing further success, Master Sergeant winning convincingly.

A 4yo Shamardal gelding, he was having just his second local and dirt outing, having finished third a month ago over 1600m on this track. He was a maiden after four starts prior to this after three UK outings for Godolphin, John and Thady Gosden.

Only six contested a 1200m maiden and Michael Costa suppled a 1-2 for racecourse patron, Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, retained jockey Jean Van Overmeire in control for the second half of the race, he and Mawthog chased home by fellow debutant Keffaaf.

One of two 3yos in the field, the Echoes Of Heaven gelding was foaled and sourced in New Zealand and looks likely to improve from this initial effort.

Costa said: “He arrived a bit late so he is only just settling in so that was very pleasing, especially as he is bred to improve over further in time.”

Connections were soon celebrating a double, landing the following 1000m handicap with Bilhayl who was never going to be caught once hitting the front with about 525m remaining.

A 5yo son of Shamardal, bred by Godolphin, he was shedding his maiden tag at the fifth attempt on just his second start of the campaign and for Costa, as well as since being gelded. It was his first outing over the minimum trip.

Costa said: “He had been showing plenty of speed at home so we thought the 1000m would suit but 1200m should not be a problem. I think he is a horse we need to keep fresh so will space out his runs.”

The concluding 1600m handicap was won in gritty fashion by Tolmount, Mickael Barzalona in the saddle for Salem bin Ghadayer and Hamad Rashed bin Ghadayer.