Dubai: Long-standing Dubai trainer Satish Seemar was in dreamland when Reynaldothewizard, under Richard Mullen, won the Gulf News-sponsored Dubai Golden Shaheen sprint to register one of his biggest career wins.
The seven-year-old bay gelding went from being a Group 3 winner three weeks ago to winning the $2 million (Dh7.34 million) Group 1 race.
Both Seemar and Mullen were confident of a big run from Reynaldothewizard, particularly after the gelding’s two successive wins over the course and distance in the Carnival.
Reynaldothewizard also ended Krypton Factor’s bid to win back-to-back Shaheen races, while Edward Lynam’s Balmont Mast finished second ahead of the defending champion.
Seemar’s feat is all the more noteworthy as the last time a Dubai-trained horse won this race was way back in 2003 when the Paddy Rudkin-trained State City triumphed under Michael Hills.
“Definitely, this is the biggest race I have won,” said Seemar, who won his first UAE trainers’ title in 1998 and followed it up with championship wins in 2000, 2001 and 2007. Commenting on his horse, Seemar said: “He was not doing too well some time around January, so we had to work a bit to get him here. And he rewarded everyone with such a great run. He fought harder and he fought longer. He is probably the lightest horse in the field, but the one with the biggest heart.”
Reynaldothewizard, like Krypton Factor last year, won the Mahab Al Shimaal (G3) on Super Saturday and emulated the defending champion with a win on the big night.
“The plan was to run the race similar to the [Mahab] Al Shamal. My instructions to Richard [Mullen] were to stay the same way and make the move quicker. And what a race we saw. He fought for such a long time and he fought very hard until the end,” Seemar said.
“He is seven years old and has done so much racing. All he needs now is a big rest through the summer. Then we will meet with Shaikh Rashid Bin Mohammad Al Maktoum and discuss where we need to take him,” he added.
It was also the biggest win for Mullen here in the UAE, and the delighted jockey said, “He was showing great form going into the race.
“I think everything went as planned. And this is the highlight of my career as a jockey. It was a hard race and it feels so great to win.”
Derek Iceton, owner of Balmont Mast, said: “This is such a huge emotional moment for us all. I bred him, had his sire and his family has been with us for six generations now. It cannot get better than that. And come to think of it, I could not sell him as a yearling.”
Bahrain owner and trainer of Krypton Factor, Fawzi Nass, said the draw had not helped his runner.
“If we had had better luck with the draw, then we could have done something. Being drawn in the 13th stall, he was caught wide on the bend. But still, he’s proved that he is a Group 1 contender.”
— With inputs from Alaric Gomes, Senior Reporter