Sixth For Satish Seemar

1200m dirt feature produces a thriller

Thursday’s first meeting of Meydan Racecourse’s eagerly awaited 2020 Dubai World Cup Carnival was highlighted by the Gr3 $200,000 Dubawi Stakes sponsored by Emirates NBD Private Banking.

Run over 1200m on the dirt track, the prep for the $2.5 million Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Gulf News was won in gritty fashion by Gr3 Hutcheson Stakes-winning American import Gladiator King, who gave trainer Satish Seemar an unprecedented sixth win in the race, which was inaugurated in 2011.

Gladiator King wins well (Pic credit: Dubai Racing Club|Erika Rasmussen)

Making his local debut and first start in the colours of Ajman’s Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, the 4-year-old Curlin colt chased the early pace under Mickael Barzalona before powering to the front about 250m from home and then finishing his race off in good style.

Last-out Garhoud Sprint (Listed) winner Ibn Malik rallied gamely for second, but fell a neck short at the wire. Off slowly under Pat Dobbs, favourite Drafted finished a game third another 1½ lengths back. The final time was 1:11.29.

“We knew the race wasn’t going to be easy, but he was sharp and looked great,” Barzalona said.

“I think he will come on a lot from this race, so I’m looking forward to next time. On the bend, I was travelling really comfortably and I knew he was a danger. I knew Drafted would be coming from behind, but he found an extra gear. He travels strong.”

Seemar added: “You know, when you first get a horse, there’s always a little worry and a little doubt, but this horse was training so well and really coming around. It feels great to get a win for Sheikh Rashid.”

Crowley and Dobbs were pleased with their mounts’ efforts, while both are likely to have a rematch with the winner in four weeks’ time in the Gr3 Al Shindagha Sprint over the same trip.

“He ran really well,” Crowley said. “Obviously, he had the worst draw in nine and he probably covered a bit more ground than the winner did. Good run. It is nice that he is back in here and we’ll look ahead to some nice runs together.”

Dobbs added: “He ran super and was just a bit ring-rusty early. He got away slow and they got away from me. He took loads of kickback, which he doesn’t like. I thought I could maybe still get there, but he got tired the last furlong. He picked up really good, but he obviously missed a few weeks and felt that in the last furlong.”

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