Dubai: Dubai businessman Mohammed Jaber, who enjoyed many memorable moments with his stable flag-beared Sheikzayedroad, may have uncovered another star in Sinjaari, who was a rousing winner of the John Smith’s Cup at York on Saturday.
Ridden by former British Champion Apprentice Stevie Donohoe, Sinjaari stayed on well to score by a length from outsider Certain Lad, winner of the Listed Zabeel Mile at Meydan Racecourse in January this year.
A four-year-old by top Coolmore Stud stallion Camelot, winner of the English 2,000 Guineas and both the Epsom and Irish Derbys, Sinjaari gifted trainer William Haggas with a third John Smith’s Cup after Green Destiny in 2011 and Danchai two years later.
“I’m thrilled to bits he’s come back to himself as he lost his way last spring having looked a bit useful,” Haggas, the son-in-law of the multiple champion jockey Lester Piggott, said. “What he loved today was the fast pace and I’m sure he appreciated the drop of rain.
“It’s just great to win a race with him. It’s a great race and a race we try and find one for every year.”
Fifth Position, trained by Roger Varian for Derby-winning owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum, and Dark Jedi filled third and fourth.
Donohoe, who was riding Sinjaari for the first time, said: “He loved the ground and saw his race out really well.
“It’s a John Smith’s Cup and it was tricky enough but once he got a bit of room up the straight he put it to bed. We were tapped for toe early but then he came alight.
“He’s a very kind horse and he has a really good attitude. With lockdown we’re all taking a hit and it’s good to get a nice winner.”
Irish-born O’Donohoe has successfully competed all over the world in the most prestigious races including Dubai, Barbados, Saudi Arabia and the Breeders’ Cup in the US.
York’s card also featured the Group 3 John Smith’s Silver Cup Stakes in which 14/1 chance Eagles By Day made a winning debut for new handler David O’Meara in the hands of Daniel Tudhope. Communique, the 2/1 favourite ridden by William Buick for Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammaed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, finished a length back in second.
Third place went to Universal Order, raced by Dubai businessman Abdulla Al Mansoori, and ridden by Jamie Spencer for trainer David Simcock.
Meanwhile, Team Godolphin’s unbeaten Dubawi colt Boccaccio steps up to Listed level for the King Charles II Stakes over seven furlongs at York on Sunday.
At Newbury’s Sunday meeting, last year’s Group 1 Jebel Hatta winner Dream Castle (Saeed bin Suroor/Kevin Stott) runs in the 10-furlong Listed Steventon Stakes.