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Top guns lay down sprint marker at Meydan

Comicas has the edge over rivals in Dubawi Stakes

  • Trainer Charlie Appleby and jockey William Buick receive their trophies from Khalfan Al Qamzi after Comicas’ vImage Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
  • Comicas (middle), ridden by William Buick and trained by Charlie Appleby, on way to winning the Dubawi Stakes Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
Gulf News

Dubai: There is so much to look forward to in the forthcoming major sprint races during the Dubai World Cup Carnival following an absolutely exhilarating renewal of the Group 3 Dubawi Stakes at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday evening.

Comicas, a Kentucky-bred gelding by Distorted Humor, produced the best work at the finish in the 1,200-metre contest run on a fast dirt surface to edge out season speedballs Muarrab and veteran Reynaldothewizard in a blinding finish.

“He [Comicas] is a lovely, honest horse who handles this surface particularly well and the one thing we do know about him is... he is going to run home strongly.””
-William Buick | 
Jockey
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Less than three lengths separated the four horses who fought out the finish with Godolphin’s Comicas, brilliantly ridden by the Dubai-owned stable’s retained jockey, William Buick, crossing the line one and a half lengths clear of Muarrab, the mount of Jim Crowley, with the fast finishing Reynaldothewizard, ridden by champion jockey Richard Mullen, a further length back in third.

My Catch, trained by two-time UAE champion trainer Doug Watson and ridden with gusto by his stable jockey Pat Dobbs, looked to have every chance approaching the final furlong, but could not produce the extra sizzle, and had to settle for fourth place.

The quartet are sure to face off again in the prize sprint races during the two-month-long Carnival en route to laying down a marker for the $2-million Dubai Golden Shaheen (Group 1), the ultimate sprint race on Dubai World Cup day on March 31.

Muarrab finished 14th in the Golden Shaheen last year while Reynaldothewizard, who won the 2013 Golden Shaheen, was hoping to win the Dubawi Stakes for a fourth time.

Reynaldothewizard, an indefatigable 12-year-old who is showing no signs of slowing down, didn’t make the fastest of starts from the unfamiliar first gate and did his best work late in the race.

“That was a hugely impressive performance, first up,” said Seemar. “I couldn’t be happier with him. We hope he can come on for that run and produce something special in the coming targets.”

Comicas, who is trained by Charlie Appleby has won four of 14 starts and was a noteworthy second to Muarrab in the listed Garhoud Sprint at six furlongs at Meydan on December 21.

He was also second in the Golden Shaheen behind the American-trained Mind Your Biscuits, but could not reproduce that form on turf in England when only 13th of 19 in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot last June.

“He is a lovely, honest horse who handles this surface particularly well and the one thing we do know about him is he may be a bit outpaced early, but he is going to run home strongly,” Buick said.

“That basically is what he has done here because they went very hard up front, as we expected, and it has panned out perfectly for him. The horse deserves a big win like this and it is great for the whole team.”

Godolphin handler Saeed Bin Surour said he was looking forward to running Winter Lightning in the UAE 1000 Guineas after the full sister to UAE Derby winner Thunder Snow showed plenty of guts to win the trial at Meydan on Thursday evening.

Ridden by Pat Cosgrave, the daughter of Shamardal had to dig deep into her reserves before she ran down leader Rayya, the mount of Pat Dobbs, in a thrilling finish to the 1,400 metre contest sponsored by Al Maryah Island.

Bin Surour was delighted with Winter Lightning’s performance on the Meydan dirt in what was only her second career start following a second place effort on debut at Newmarket, England, in October.

“She’s a very well-bred filly who has shown good form during her morning work,” said the long-serving Godolphin handler.

“In her race at Newmarket she was perhaps a little keen but she still finished the race well.

“She settled a lot better today and once again showed she’s not afraid of a battle in the closing stages,” he added.

“You would have to be very happy with that performance and we will now look at the UAE 1000 Guineas in three weeks time.”

Bin Surour won the first running of the fillies Classic back in 2001 with Muwakleh and has picked up eight more wins in the contest, which is run over a mile.

Doug Watson continued to show why he has won two UAE trainer championships when he produced a super-fit Kimbear, who trounced his rivals in his local bow under Pat Dobbs, in a 1,600m dirt handicap

Meanwhile, Australian dual Group 2 winner Faatinah was an impressive winner of the 1,200m turf handicap, the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi World Class Healthcare Cup,

Winning handler David Hayes, said: “He hit the lids so well, I was in front perhaps on sufferance, but nobody else wanted to go on, so I was happy to.

“He has bowled along really well but, also, has had a good look around under the lights, which is a new experience for him. It was a very good performance, giving weight away to all the others and he will improve for it after two months-plus off.”

WInners

Race Horse trainer Jockey

1 Winter Lightning S Bin Suroor Patrick Cosgrave

2 Janszoon A Al Rayhi Silvestre De Sousa

3 Kimbear D Watson Patrick Dobbs

4 Light The Lights M de Kock Christophe Soumillon

5 Comicas C Appleby William Buick

6 Faatinah (AUS) D Hayes Jim Crowley

7 Salsabeel C Appleby William Buick

 

Fact Box

Race Horse Trainer Jockey

1 Winter Lightning S Bin Suroor Patrick Cosgrave

2 Janszoon A Al Rayhi Silvestre De Sousa

3 Kimbear D Watson Patrick Dobbs

4 Light The Lights M de Kock Christophe Soumillon

5 Comicas C Appleby William Buick

6 Faatinah (AUS) D Hayes Jim Crowley

7 Salsabeel C Appleby William Buick

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