Rivals have strong claims at Dubai Chamber sponsored meeting
Top handlers Doug Watson and Bhupat Seemar, who have an abundance of riches in their respective Dubai yards, have played dominant roles at Meydan Racecourse this season, amassing 15 winners between them.
That trend looks set to continue when racing returns to its UAE headquarters on Thursday where the six-race card is sponsored by the Dubai Chamber who acknowledges the key roles played by Foreign Councils in the country by naming the races after them.
The feature of the evening is a 1,400 metre rated conditions event named after the Czech Business Council, which has attracted a quality field of nine, many of whom have already stamped their tickets to the 2022 Dubai World Cup Carnival.
Heading the weights is the Watson-trained Khuzaam who made a promising UAE debut when running a competitive third behind stable companion Al Tariq at Jebel Ali Racecourse on November 26.
A Shadwell homebred, the five-year-old gelded son of multiple Grade 1 producing American stallion Kitten’s Joy has notched four wins on the all-weather in Britain when previously raced by Roger Varian.
Watson said: “He had a really promising first run at Jebel Ali. He has a nice draw and we’ll see how he goes
“This isn’t on the all-weather but I think he’ll go on it (dirt). He works very well on it at home and hopefully he gets a good position early and comes home well. But the trip’s right for him.”
Shadwell’s retained stable jockey Dane O’Neill has ridden Khazeen both at Jebel Ali and back in England, commented: “I rode the horse once in England, back in May 2019 after which he had wind surgery which really helped him.
“We were very pleased with that Jebel Ali effort and hopefully he can build on that in what looks like a good little race.”
Watson’s hope faces some decent opposition including former stablemate Quip, who is now based at Salem Bin Ghadayer’s Fazza Stables. The six-year-old son of Distorted Humour is looking for his first success in over two years having last won the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas.
He was well-beaten in the Listed Entisar Stakes on his first outing for Bin Ghadayer three weeks ago but the Emirati handler remains positive and said: “It did not go according to plan last time out as he missed the start and ran too keen.
Quip deserves another chance, says Bin Ghadayer
“He has been working well and showing us a lot of promise. I think he deserves another chance and we hope that he can produce a better performance which will help us make plans for the Carnival.”
Another former Watson galloper is 2020 Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge scorer Kimbear, who makes his debut for Seemar.
The in-form Zabeel Stables handler is mob-handed in the contest with Bochart, Saqqara King, and Imperial Empire adding to his chances of landing the evening’s feature.
Bochart, the mount of exciting Irish apprentice Sean Kirrane, looks the pick of the quartet. He has shown his liking for the Meydan dirt where he has won on four occasions.
The main support race is a three-year-old rated conditions mile which carries the name of the Netherlands Business Council.
Although only five go to post, including Meydan winner Uncle Hamed, it still looks like an interesting contest.
“He’s in good shape,” Watson said of the Tapiture colt. “He’s giving away weight but we think the mile is his trip.
“He’s been going the right way and hopefully if he runs well we can find some nice races for him in the Carnival.”
Al Mheiri banking on Atlantic Sky
Former champion trainer Musabbeh Al Mheiri’s horses have shown some useful form at Meydan and the Emirati handler is hopeful that Atlantic Sky can build on his maiden win at the track.
“He’s been doing good and has been training well at Meydan,” said Al Mheiri. “He’s looking fit and we are expecting a good effort from him.”
Seemar sends out the ex-Godolphin trained Al Nefud, a Dhs 425,000 acquisition at the ERA Racing in Dubai Sales in September 2021.
The trainer commented: “He is by Dubawi so he’s really bred to handle the Meydan dirt.
He has been training well, so we think he’ll give a good account of himself and are looking forward to running him.”
Dubai Racing Club Press Release
Dubai Racing Club Photo