Dubai: Dubai World Cup (G1) and Epsom Derby (G1) winning jockey Mickael Barzalona wasted no time to get his 2019 season off to a successful start when he landed his first victory in just his second ride, at Meydan’s day-night meeting on Saturday.
Barzalona, who is retained by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, for his Fazza Racing Stables delivered a typically solid ride aboard Pirate’s Cove to win the Dh190,000 District One Pictuesque Run handicap.
The six-year-old son of Dubawi is owned by Hamad Rashid Ghadayer and trained by Sandeep Jadav, best known for saddling Heavy Metal to win the prestigious Godolphin Mile on the Dubai World Cup card last March.
Barzalona, 27, showed no signs of a winter-break hangover as he broke smartly aboard Pirate’s Cove to lead the nine-horse field.
The French rider, who is retained by Godolphin France during the summer, asked him for his effort and he stretched out to win comfortably by two lengths in the end from Alraased, the mount of Royston Ffrench.
Winning trainer Jadhav was as we now know him to be, enthused with every winner, and said: “The last two times he ran he was rather unlucky, but this time we were pretty confident that he will run well and in fact win.
“Mickael rode a fantastic race.
“He’s a front-runner and has a lot of speed. He’s tough and shows a lot of class at home, like he did here today.”
Multiple Group 1 winning jockey Harry Bentley also launched his 2019 season in Dubai with a fine win aboard the previously luckless Rua Augusta in the 1,600m District One Class Run maiden.
It was the four-year-old’s first success in 15 starts and was delivered in convincing style as he fought bravely to hold-off Paleothic, the mount of champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea by half a length.
Trained by the Emirati handler Ahmad Bin Harmash, Rua Augusta the winner’s previous best effort was a second-place finish to Ismael Mohammad’s Heart Power in a maiden at Meydan last March.
However, Bentley was full of praise for his horse and said: “He does stick his head out. His defeats have not been due to a lack of attitude, (perhaps) the dirt could have been a factor and resulting kick back.
“He needed these conditions to prove himself. Quite a few horses here don’t get these conditions, but he relished the conditions and won well.”
Meanwhile, Satish Seemar and Richard Mullen teamed-up to nail a meet double with Heraldic in the 2,200m District One Landmark Award and the hugely impressive Bochart in the District One elegance Stretch Cup over 1,400m.