Dubai: Former UAE champion jockey Richard Mullen won a long-overdue Group 3 Jebel Ali Mile sponsored by Shadwell after the Satish Seemar-trained Secret Ambition delivered a masterclass to upstage a strong field in Friday’s showpiece race at Jebel Ali Racecourse.
The winner of a Meydan handicap during last year’s Dubai World Cup carnival, the Darley-bred son of Exceed And Excel, looked every inch the class act that his trainer has always said he was, when romping home a comfortable one-and-three-quarter-length winner over defending champion Shamaal Nibras, ridden by Patrick Dobbs for champion trainer Doug Watson.
Stable companion Behavioural Bias was a neck back in third.
Mullen, who won the Jebel Ali Stakes, one of the three Pattern races held at Jebel Ali in 2017 aboard Farrier, was delighted to land the elusive victory and said: “It’s been a race that I’ve come close [to winning] on several occasion, sometimes perhaps because I picked the wrong horse.
“You always have that at the back of your mind and you want to win it one day.
“The Mile is a very prestigious race and I’m glad that I can finally tick that one of the box. I was telling the boss (Seemar) earlier today that we could have a big chance today if he runs his race. So I’m glad to get it done sooner or later, as Im not getting any younger.”
Mullen, also paid tribute to owner Secret Ambition’s owner Nasir Askar, who accepted the Jebel Ali Mile trophy from Shadwell Chairman, Mirza Al Sayegh.
“It’s nice to see him [Secret Ambition] repay Nasir, who is a great supporter of our stable. Secret Ambition is the flag-bearer for Nasir string, so it’s a very special win today.”
The last two winners of this race, Shamaal Nibras and Forjatt renewed their rivalry but were no match for the winner who looks good to win more races during this season, and is a good prospect for Seemar’s Zabeel Stables who also have a big-race contender in North America to look forward to campaigning at Meydan Racecourse.
Seemar would go on to record a meet double when Iftitah landed the Newbury Racecourse handicap.