No Apologies From Remorse

Great prep run for the Dubai World Cup Carnival

A superb sixth in the $12million Dubai World Cup in March, plenty was expected from Remorse when he lined up for the Listed Entisar Stakes, the feature race of the final meeting of the year at Meydan Racecourse on Friday.

The Bhupat Seemar-trained five-year-old faced six rivals, including four Gr1 winners in For The Top, Ajuste Fiscal, Atletico El Culano and First Constitution, plus talented three-year-old stablemate Bendoog.

Tadhg O’Shea steers Remorse to a good victory ahead of Bendoog (Pic – ERA)

However, the Al Rashid Racing-owned gelding still got the job done in typical honest fashion in the 2000metre contest. Kept just off the leaders by Champion Jockey Tadhg O’Shea, he outbattled Bendoog for a length win, with the eye-catching First Constitution staying on for third.

“I just gave him a no-nonsense ride and rode him like he was the best horse in the race,” said O’Shea. “We have to work back from the big days so there’s plenty of improvement to come – today’s only the start and not the end – he’ll tighten up a good bit from today.

“Saudi [Cup] is in the plans but ideally he’ll have one more run before that.”

The most valuable race on the card was the UAE 1000 Guineas Trial, [Presented by Dubai Airports] which was worth AED183,640. A fascinating renewal, it was run several weeks earlier than normal to give the fillies more time between races.

Trainer Salem Bin Ghadayer was effusive in his praise of Mimi Kakushi earlier this season and the City Of Light filly made it third time lucky in the 1400metre contest. She was ridden by Mickael Barzalona, for whom it was a 100th UAE winner, on his first night back for the season. Settled just off the pace, Mimi Kakushi led inside the final two furlongs and comfortably beat the Doug Watson-trained pair of Asawer and Awasef by two lengths.

“She just needed experience,” said the jockey, who was happy to look ahead to Classics for his mount. “She’s definitely a filly who will be better over longer. She will have her chance in the Guineas but she will be better in the Oaks.”

Mimi Kakushi was the second leg of a quick double for Barzalona and Bin Ghadayer who earlier sent out their ultra-consistent 10-year-old Untold Secret for win number nine on start number 65. Nestled in midfield for much of the 1800metre Arabian Network Handicap, on turf, he charged clear once given the signal but only just held off Desert Destination by half a length.

Unlucky in the Guineas Trial, Watson gained recompense in the 2410metre turf Dubai Airports Handicap when Al Nayyir provoked a moment of riding genius from Sam Hitchcott. Trapped with most of the field in front of him deep inside the final furlong, Hitchcott patiently waited for a gap before unleashing his mount between horses, just getting up by neck over Bosphorus.

“He got me out of trouble,” grinned the jockey afterwards. “He travelled around lovely and they went a good gallop early and I decided to go the brave man’s route, thinking ‘what did you do that for?’ but it paid off in the end.”

Watson saddled a double on the card when Shirl’s Bee justified stable confidence in the closing 1600metre dirt maiden, for two-year-olds. Ridden by Pat Dobbs, the colt was keen early on but professional when it mattered, having to fight hard to see of the attentions of Lahresh, who improved considerably from his Jebel Ali debut.

“He’s very professional at home, a naturally quick horse,” said Dobbs. “He’ll get further but I’m not sure if he’ll get further yet. He’s better looking than his dad [Bee Jersey, who Dobbs also rode] who had a weird action and wouldn’t have been as smooth as this lad.”

Watson indicated that Shirl’s Bee will now head straight to the Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas, on Friday, February 10th.

The final turf race, the Nad Al Sheba Classic [presented by Ministry of Economy] over 2000metres, went to Godolphin, when Electrical Storm, one of four runners on the night for Saeed Bin Suroor, made his local debut a successful one.

Given a confident ride by Pat Cosgrave, the son of Dubawi had plenty in hand and was eased down for a one and three-quarter length win over Rastrelli and the strong-travelling Franz Kafka.

“He’s always worked like a nice horse and, to be honest with you, he’s maybe been a bit disappointing,” said Cosgrave. “He won well today, but I had the best sit in the race and I didn’t have to move until it opened up on the fence. He might not have won so easily if he had to go round a few of them.”

The opening Arabian Radio Network Maiden, the first turf race of the season at Meydan, was over 1200metres which played to the strengths of Abshrek.  Third to the smart Colour Up on his most recent start, which came on dirt, Rashed Bouresly’s son of Oasis Dream relished the grass and scooted to a three-length success over Harvest Gold.

“He has a lot of natural speed and has improved a lot for his first run,” said winning jockey Adrie De Vries. “Hopefully he can go on from this.”

Meydan Racecourse stages its next meeting on Friday, 6 January, which is the opening night of the Dubai World Cup Carnival. Group 2 Maktoum Challenge Round 1, an early Godolphin Mile pointer, and the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort, on turf, are among the feature races.

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