Dubai: American import Rb Rich Lyke Me stamped himself as a leading Dubai Kahayla Classic (PA Group 1) contender after dominating his classy rivals to win the Bani Yas (G2) Sponsored by Dubai Police, at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday (Nov 18) evening.
The Kahayla Classic is Pone of the world’s most prestigious rebred Arabian races and is part of a glittering Dubai World Cup card which takes place on March 26, 2022.
Rich Lyke Me is the first-ever Arabian to represent enterprising Bahraini owner/ trainer Fawzi Nass who has long cherished winning the showpiece race in Dubai.
Thursday’s card at Meydan honored frontline workers at government entities and also featured six exciting thoroughbred contests.
Here Gulf News looks at some of the many highlights and what lies in store for eye-catching winners like champion trainer Doug Watson’s Taking Notes and Faithful Soldier and the Bhupat Seemar pair of Kafoo and Imperial Empire.
Kafoo makes huge impression in 1600m Dubai Municipality Maiden
Connections are always keen to see how a horse performs on his career debut and Kafoo did not disappoint when posting a thumping 6.5 length victory over his rivals.
With seven-time champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea doing the steering the son of 2008 Dubai World Cup winner and Kentucky-bred Kafoo showed himself to be an exciting horse for the future with an impressive display of acceleration down the dusty Meydan straight.
O’Shea described the winner as a ‘lovey exciting horse’ who will doubtless be at the Classics next season.
Imperial Empire conquers rivals with powerful display
Ex-Godolphin trainee made a promising debut for the Zabeel Stables and Irish apprentice Sean Kirrane when taking a 1600 metre handicap that featured a full field of 16 runners.
It was a third career success of the son of Dubawi who has the potential to go far with the Godolphin Mile a possible long-term target.
It was a season first success for Kirrane who has a nice demenaor in the saddle and a sharp racing mind.
The Irish talent was also confident that Imperial Dragon will get further than the mile describing him as a horse who gets better the more ground he covers.
Taking Names can follow in Arrogate’s footsteps
Curlin was not the only former Dubai World Cup winner to make his present felt at Meydan as 2017 hero Arrogate saw his son, Taking Names, post what was perhaps the most impressive performance on the night.
With the experience Pat Dobbs in the saddle for trainer Doug Watson Taking Names showed no signs of inexperience when stretching out in magnificent fashion to win his maiden by over eight lengths.
A performance like that will no doubt put the $50,000 Ocala Sales purchase top of the pecking order for Watson’s assault on the big prizes during the Dubai World Cup Carnival.
Faithful Soldier’s brave win over Oaks heroine Mnasek
One of the most highly anticipated races on the card was the Dubai Health Authority Conditions Stakes that featured the seasonal debut of 2021 UAE Oaks (G3) heroine Mnasek, nut it was stable companion Faithful Soldier who stole the thunder.
A $230,00 Ocala purchase, the son of This Time had not been seen on a racecourse since middle of last season but he showed no signs of rust with a strong and resolute performance to lower the colours of the Oaks winners.
It was a very encouraging return to action and Hitchcott was impressed with his front-running effort from a favourable draw in Gate 1.
The jockey praised his mount for sticking to his task and believes that he can build on this effort heading into the 2022 Dubai World Cup Carnival.
Mulfit returns to winning ways in impressive style
He may have won just once, and in a maiden, two seasons ago, but Mulfit looked like a horse who has sample many successes given the performance he delivered on Thursday evening.
Racing out of Doug Watson’s talent-filled Red Stables the five-year-old American born Mulfit nonchalantly cantered to a eight-length victory in the Dubai Ambulance Handicap over the Dubai World Cup course and distance of 2,000 metres.
Conceivably he has found his niche and can go on to achieve more success for Watson’s team who, according to jockey George Buckell,‘have always like this horse.’
Gold Silver shine in Al Ain feature race
He may have an unusual name but there was nothing strange about Gold Silver’s performance in the feature race at Al Ain Racecourse on Friday evening.
He looked like a horse with a big heart and an appetite for a battle when digging deep into his resources to stave off the challenge of Heros de Lagarde in a thrilling finish.
Trained in Sharjah by Ibrahim Aseel Gold Silver was regarding a third career success and given the attitude he showed is tipped for more success