Dubai: Satish Seemar’s in-form Zabeel Stables drew first blood on Super Saturday, the official dress rehearsal for the $35 million Dubai World Cup meeting on March 28, when Emblem Storm comfortably landed the Listed Al Bastakiya Sponsored by Emirates.com at Meydan.
The 1,900 metre dirt contest acts as the prep for the UAE Derby (G2) on DWC night, a race that Seemar is yet to win but would now appear to have a genuine contender to end his jinx in the prestigious Classic.
Seemar also saddled second-placer Tuz, the mount of Tadhg O’Shea with Dubai Love and Patrick Cosgrave taking third. The winning distances being 1 1/4length and 1 ½.
Favourite Ya Hauati appeared not to handle the dirt on his debut and trailed in 13th of a full field of 16 runners.
Emblem Storm was cut to 5/1 second favourite to win the UAE Derby by international odds makers behind Japan’s Full Flat, a 5/2 chance.
“He’s a very straightforward horse,” said Oisin Murphy, the British champion jockey. “Full credit to Satish and his team. He looked pretty serious at the bottom of the straight and picked up well when I asked him for his effort. He’s a nice horse going forward to the UAE Derby.”
Mahab Al Shimaal Sprint - Wafy prevails
Dubai trainer Satish Seemar continued his red-hot form - and Wafy his Dubai renessaince - when the pair teamed up to win the Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal Sponsored by Emirates Skywards in the second race of the day.
The winner of just one of his 16 starts when previously trained by Charlie Hills in the UK, the five-year-old son of Dubawi was produced late by champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea to record a stunning victory in a race that leads up to the $2.5million Dubai Goldlen Shaheen (G1) on DWC night.
Wafy is a 10/1 chance to back up Saturday's victory and win the Shaheen, a race stacked with talent and some of the world’s best dirt sprinters.
For the second race running, Seemar also supplied the runner-up with Leading Spirit, the mount of Pat Cosgrave, holding on for second place ahead of William Buick and American sprinter Fight On.
Alkarama was a noteworthy fourth for Musabeh Al Mheiri and Dane O’Neill.
O’Shea, who is blazing a trail at the top of the 2019-2020 UAE Jockey table with 39 wins, said: “Hes a very, very well bred horse.
“The thing is that these sprinters need to sprint to learn the game I think there’s more to come from.
“I was a little worried at the top of the straight but one thing I knew he would do once I got him in the clear was finish it and thankfully the line came in time.”
Updates to follow...