Dubai: If you ever wanted advice on ‘smart shopping’ at horse sales it might not be a bad idea to talk to Ismail Mohammad, a successful trainer of both race and endurance horses for many years.
Mohammad, who confesses to having a small yard of 28 horses at his Millennium 2 Stables in Dubai, sent out the progressive American-bred filly Al Hayette to record a hugely impressive victory in the UAE 1000 Guineas Trial Presented By Longines La Grande Classique on the opening day of the 2019 Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan Racecourse.
Regular rider Fabrice Veron rode a perfectly judged race aboard the American-bred filly producing his horse in the final furlong to comfortably rein in Nashirah, the mount of James Doyle and win by two lengths.
Muthhila, ridden by Xavier Ziani for Sandeep Jadhav, stayed on for third in what appeared to be a strong trial for the Guineas.
“She’s a horse I’ve always liked,” said Mohammad. “I bought her with the aim always being to bring her to Dubai for the Carnival.
“I knew that the dirt would not be an issue, so you can say I was not surprised with how well she ran in such a high quality race.
“We ran her here twice and she improved from her first start to win her maiden two weeks ago so we were pretty confident. Well give her a break and bring her back for the Guineas,” he added.
Veron said that he had so much horse under him that he was worried that things would not work out the way it eventually did.
“For a filly she a strong horse with a big turn of foot,” said the Frenchman. “I was a bit worried that the distance (1400m) would be a bit short for her as I believe her best distances are between a mile and mile and a quarter.
“She settled into her race well and although I felt that I might not get there she ran a perfect race in the final two furlongs and won well in the end.
“She’s got a lot of class and handled the dirt very well. We have a lot to look forward in the Carnival with horses like her.”
Earlier in the evening, Godolphin’s Saeed Bin Surour, an eight times champion trainer at the Dubai World Cup Carnival, claimed the honour of saddling the first winner at the nine week extravaganza when he saddled Bin Battuta to win the Longines Gents Record Collection handicap over 2,410 metres.
With French ace Christophe Soumillon at his supreme best Bin Battuta sliced through the field to deny Ispolini, the mount of James Doyle, by one and a half lengths.
Bin Surour was so impressed with that performance that he was even willing to nominate the horse as a Dubai Gold Cup contender.