Photo Credit: Andrew Watkins
A familiar name to UAE racing fans from the 2017-2018 season will be returning on Dec.19 in the form of 2018 Al Bastakiya (Listed) winner Yulong Warrior, who makes his first start for Zabeel Racing Stables master Satish Seemar since finishing seventh in the UAE Derby (G2) astern Mendelssohn.
Owned by Yuesheng Zhang’s Yulong Investments, a worldwide racing and breeding operation based in Victoria, Australia, the son of Street Cry has not raced since finishing seventh to G1 winner Gift Box in the San Antonio (G2) at Santa Anita on Dec. 26 (2018). Said effort was part of a four-race USA tenure under the tutelage of trainer Doug O’Neill—the highlight of which was a second stakes win in Emerald Downs’ Getaway Day Stakes. Previous to his Stateside campaign, he raced four times in the UAE for Seemar, including two wins, and four times in Ireland for Mick Halford, resulting in as many placings. He returns to racing in Dubai after 10 months of re-acclimating to the area.
After a quartet of respective starts on a trio of continents, the $180,000 Keeneland September 2017 and $460,000 Goffs London 2017 graduate makes his return over the course and distance at which he broke his maiden. He currently carries a 98 rating.
“He looks good,” said Bhupat Seemar, assistant to Satish. “I think he probably wants a little farther than a mile, but this is a good place to start him. He looks a picture and this is where he performed the best, so it’s good to get him back.”
Zabeel will also be represented in the Dubai Creek Mile by Secret Ambition, a 104-rated half-brother to G1 winner Royal Marine who finished fifth last season in the $1.5 million Godolphin Mile sponsored by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum City—District One (G2).
A familiar face to the Meydan faithful, the 6-year-old son of Exceed and Excel was sixth in last season’s Dubai Creek Mile before going on to win the Jebel Ali Mile (G3) two starts later. He was also 10th in in the 2018 Godolphin Mile for in-form owner Nasir Askar.
“They’re both doing really well and hopefully will keep doing well to the race,” Seemar continued. “Secret Ambition is a good, solid performer who has run in the Godolphin Mile a couple times—fifth last year—he’s just never been very lucky in the gate draws. He’s ready to roll. Sometimes, in his first run, he can throw in the towel, but he’s healthy and looks very well.”