Dubai: Following the excitement of the Breeders’ Cup and Melbourne Cup, the racing spotlight shifts to the UAE’s much-loved Meydan Racecourse which hosts its second meeting of the new season on Thursday.
The stunning success of Godolphin’s Cross Counter in Melbourne’s iconic race on Tuesday will undoubtedly have helped heighten the interest of local racing fans as the season picks up.
Sponsored entirely by Meydan’s Pillar Partner Longines, the seven-race card features several interesting contests headed by the Longines Ladies Master Collection maiden over a mile.
The second two-year contest at Meydan in as many weeks is the perfect start to an evening which looks competitive and full of depth in the quality of the runners.
The first of these juvenile races was won by Walking Thunder representing the newly formed Phoenix Ladies Syndicate, who once again look to have strong claims with Superior, who, like Walking Thunder, is trained by Ahmad Bin Harmarsh and ridden by Connor Beasley.
Phoenix Ladies’ first runner, Walking Thunder, won a similar race over 1400m last week. A son of Majesticperfection, Superior is a half-brother to four winners and boasts the same partnership of trainer Ahmad bin Harmash and jockey Connor Beasley.
Looking ahead to the race, Phoenix Ladies Syndicate principal Pamela Cordina said: “We could not have hoped for a better start as owners and it was all very exciting, but we were pretty confident as our trainer said (Walking Thunder) was working well.
“He is similarly bullish about Superior, so fingers crossed [that] lightning can strike twice.”
Among the opposition is Luxor Temple, who is trained by Ali Rashid Al Rayhi for Phoenix Thoroughbreds, under whose umbrella the Ladies Syndicate operates. The mount of Fernando Jara Luxor Temple was well beaten by Walking Thunder last week, but makes a quick return to Meydan where his trainer hopes he will give a much better account of himself.
“It always difficult to predict how juveniles will perform as its still very new for them — the track, conditions, the excitement of the race.
“So adapt quicker than others, but sometimes the ones who are slowly into their stride develop faster. So we’ll be happy to ignore our horse; s last run if he shows improvement on Thursday.
Sandeep Jadhav, enjoying his first season as a full trainer at Fazz Stables, sent out unraced Lahmoom for Alqemmah Racing Team. Xavier Ziani takes the ride.
Jadhav is also represented by Majed Ali Almarzooqui’s $100,000 (Dh265,265) Ocala sale purchase, Emdad, and son of Kentucky Derby winner Orb from a deep Claiborne Farm female family. Royston Ffrench gets the call up.
Reigning champion trainer Doug Watson saddles Martial Art, a juvenile colt by Jimmy Creed who sold at Keeneland last year for $120,000.
Pat Dobbs takes the ride on the For the Russian Racing Syndicate-owned contender.
Watson, who drew a blank at Jebel Ali on the opening day of the season,
returned to Meydan with a bang last week where he saddled four of the nights seven winners.
The co-feature of the night is the Longines VHP Collection over 1400m. The race has attracted eight runners, including a trio to be saddled by Satish Seemar.
Seemar’s first jockey at Zabeel Stables, Richard Mullen, has elected to ride Mazeed, who receives weight from all his rivals and is seeking a second career victory.