Dubai: Fans of the flat are in for a bumper weekend with some fascinating race meetings scheduled to be held across the UAE before we head into the Christmas holidays.
The four days of action kick-off on Thursday evening with the final Meydan meeting of 2020 at the UAE’s flagship racecourse,
The seven-race card which is presented by long-time Meydan pillar partner Longines is highlighted by the Purebred Arabian Group 2 Madjani Stakes as well as the Listed Dubai Creek Mile, the first of many prep races heading to the Group 2 Godolphin Mile on Dubai World Cup day on March 27.
Nine have been declared for the Dubai Creek Mile, including multiple Meydan scorer Capezzano who has contested two of the world’s richest races, the 2019 Dubai World Cup and 2020 Saudi Cup.
The field also includes defending champion Secret Ambition, one of two representing Satish Seemar’s Zabeel Stables. Last year, the seven-year-old son of Exceed And Excel made light of a penalty to win. Eight-time champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea, who continues his association with Secret Ambition, told the ERA: “We know conditions suit him and he showed last year that he can run well fresh, so the fact it is his first run of the season is not a great concern. It looks a strong renewal though, but I am hoping for a big run.”
Seemar’s stable jockey Richard Mullen teams up with Quip, who is having his first start for the yard after moving from Doug Watson’s Red Stables last season.
Assistant trainer Bhupat Seemar said of the dual Grade Two winner in the US: “He is a nice new horse for us who has been working well. He should improve for the run, but we are hoping for a good effort in a strong race.”
Watson’s’s Kimbear was second to Secret Ambition in this contest 12 months ago and one of three runners that the former champion trainer saddles in the race.
He is joined in the field by stable companions Thegreatcollection and local debutant Mount Pelion.
Mount Pelion, a dual winner in France for Godolphin when trained by Andre Fabre, makes his dirt debut under Sam Hitchcott.
Watson said: “Kimbear is a horse we have always really liked, but have had a few issues with. He is in great shape, but does have a penalty and will improve from the run. We have not been able to find a race for Mount Pelion, so this is a good spot to get him going and try him on the dirt surface. Thegreatcollection ran well on his return and like Kimbear is proven under these conditions. Hopefully they can all run well.”
However, the star appeal in the race is provided by Capezzano, the highest rated horse at 117 and he has been campaigned at the highest level by his trainer Salem Bin Ghadayer. He represents a massive danger should he be at his best.
Last year, Capezzano won the Group 3 Firebreak Stakes ahead of Secret Ambition and also lowered the colours of Godolphin’s dual Dubai World Cup winner Thunder Snow in Round 3 of the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge on Super Saturday in 2019.
This is the first start for the six-year-old son of Bernardini since he finished at the back of the international field in the $20 million Saudi Cup on the last day of February at Riyadh.
Bin Ghadayer said: “The horses are starting to run very well and hopefully Capezzano can do the same as he has been working nicely at home.”
Another interesting contender is Casey Jones who won a conditions race over this course and distance on their seasonal returns and was then third, over 2000m, in the Listed The Entisar, a fortnight ago.
He is trained by Musabbeh Al Mheiri who also saddles Alkaamel, third in the race won by Casey Jones a month ago.
Al Mheiri said: “Casey Jones has already produced two good runs this season and we think is still improving.
“Alkaamel is also a course and distance winner and has benefited from his run behind Casey Jones a month ago.”
Bahraini handler Fawzi Nass and Dutch ace Adrie de Vries team up with Salute The Soldier winner of the Group 3 Burj Nahaar, over track and trip, on Super Saturday earlier this year.
The meeting opens with the 1,900m Group 2 Madjani Stakes which has attracted a capacity field of 16 Purebred Arabians.
Race 1: 1. Rb Texas Hold Em, 2. Af Al Sajanjle
Race 2: 1. Nayefah, 2. Heshmah
Race 3. 1. Shamran, 2. Grand Duba
Race 4: 1. Welsh Lord, 2. Tradesman
Race 5: 1. Capezzano, 2. Salute The Soldier
Race 6: 1. Commanding, 2. Shamikh
Race 7: 1. Ra’ad, 2. Speedy Move
Day’s Best: Capezzano