13 January 2024

ERA Meydan Review

Trainer Jamie Osborne paid tribute to veteran rider Adrie de Vries after witnessing the Dutchman deliver a masterclass on Ouzo to win the 3000AED Lord North Handicap and complete a sparkling treble on race night six of the Meydan Carnival.

The 52-year-old jockey needed to excel aboard the UK raider who was situated at the back of the field for much of the 1800m feature (presented by Nakheel) before the gaps finally began to present themselves in the straight.

Ouzo, unraced since winning at Ascot in September, appeared to relish weaving his way through the field and de Vries delivered his mount with perfect timing to claim fellow UK runner, Silent Film, in the shadows of the post to score by half-a-length. 

Sadly, for super-sub de Vries, he may not even keep the ride aboard Osborne’s veteran handicapper when he reappears in three weeks’ time as the trainer’s daughter, Saffie, intends to return to race riding after injury.

“Adrie is a great rider and a great man,” said Osborne.

“I asked him, with Saffie sidelined, if he would mind keeping the saddles warm until she got back and, because he doesn’t seem to get a lot of outside rides at present, we knew we could get him. 

“I am really delighted to be able to give him a winner.

“You will have to speak to my daughter about whether Adrie keeps the ride in future!

“She is planning to be back riding in the UK next Saturday with a view to be riding here in a fortnight.

“Given Ouzo is owned by her mother and her mother’s friends I would say there is a very fair chance she will get back on him!

“We’ll come back for the Lord Glitters Handicap over the same distance in three weeks’ time.”

De Vries opened his account for the evening deploying positive tactics aboard Fawzi Nass’ Military Artist, who collected a second success in five starts in the 1600m Palm Jebel Ali presented by Nakheel, a non-winner event for 3yos.

The popular Dutchman later collected a second when leading Doug Watson-trained veteran Thegreatcollection to a stunning last-to-first victory in the 1400m Palm Beach Towers presented by Nakheel handicap (3yo+, 80-100).

The other feature event, the 1200m Al Wasl Stakes presented by Nakheel, a Conditions run for three-year-olds, was won by William Buick, who delivered a well-timed ride aboard Charlie Appleby’s Star Of Mystery.

Tracking the pace, Buick asked the daughter of Kodiac for a big effort in the final 400m and she went forward to gain the ascendancy without a fuss. Chased home by Ralph Beckett’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint third Starlust (Hector Crouch), Star of Mystery, winner of a Listed event in Britain, held on comfortably to win by a length, with George Scott’s Seven Questions third, a further length and a half behind in the hands of Callum Shepherd.

It was one of two wins for Buick on the card, the rider enjoying the other in another sprint aboard Simon  and Ed Crisfords’ Vespasian, who went cool as a cucumber in the 1000m Palm Jumeirah presented by Nakheel (3yo+, 65-90), the opening act of the evening.

A frontrunning ride by Sandro Paiva saw Musabbeh Al Mheiri’s

Changing Colours upset the odds and win the 1400m Como Residences presented by Nakheel (3yo+ 65-90), while Kabirkhan (Pat Dobbs) turned up a striking winner for Watson on his UAE debut in the 2000m Dubai Islands presented by Nakheel (Handicap) (Dirt) (3yo+ 85-105).

Bhupat Seemar enjoyed a late double winning the last two events on the card. Border Edge obliged with a first for the Zabeel Stables boss under Andrew Slattery in the 1400m Palm West Beach presented by Nakheel (Handicap) (Dirt) (3yo+ 60-80), then Webinar clinched the 2410m The Palm Crown presented by Nakheel handicap (Turf, 3yo+ 65-90)  in the hands of Tadhg O’Shea.