Ouzo Aims to Sparkle Again at Meydan

Dubai Racing Carnival on Friday - starts at 15h30

Bumper fields await racegoers at Dubai Racing Carnival on Friday at Meydan, where five of the nine races have capacity fields.

The feature race is the Lord Glitters Handicap, presented by Al Tayer Motors, race five, in which Ouzo aims to make it two in a row, having won the Lord North Handicap over the same 1800m of turf a month ago.

Ouzo aims to make it two in a row (Pic – DRC)

That success saw him raised 4lbs by the handicapper to a mark of 102, which is causing trainer Jamie Osborne some anxiety.

“It was a nice, happy surprise,” said the British trainer of the win. “He came here last year, and he kept hitting the crossbar off 93 and 94 so I was worried about him coming here and doing it off 98. I thought it was a longshot that he would win here, and he certainly put up a lifetime best.

“He now has to try and do it off 102, which I’m not sure is possible, but he does seem to be in form of his life.”

Osborne’s daughter Saffie, who has just returned from injury, takes the ride this time and has drawn post three of 16.

Renewing rivalry is Lord North Handicap second Silent Film, as well as fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh home Highbank, Track Of Time, Good Fortune and Ursa Minor.

Highbank is trained by Charlie Appleby who has won all five three-year-old turf races staged so far. He aims to keep that remarkable record going when Beautiful Love lines up in the Defender 130 three-year-old contest, race two.

The Siyouni filly was an eye-catching second behind Cinderella’s Dream in the Jumeirah Fillies’ Classic last time out.

“We were pleased with Beautiful Love in the Jumeirah Fillies’ Classic and stepping back up to a mile is going to suit,” said Appleby. “She heads into this in good shape and we are confident that she will be there or thereabouts.”

Up against Beautiful Love are ten rivals, including Athan who has placed on each of his last two starts.

“He’s an improving horse and I think he should have a really good chance,” said jockey Adrie De Vries of the Fawzi Nass-trained colt, who carries 62kg due to his Southern Hemisphere breeding.

“He has to give away a lot of weight, but the competition is not that strong and he’s capable of winning.”

Changing Colours was an emphatic winner of a 1400metre turf handicap last month and the Musabbeh Al Mheiri trainee takes on the same conditions again, in race four, the Defender 110X Handicap. He renews rivalry with second Molaqab, the mount of Ben Coen.

Jockey Sandro Paiva keeps the ride on Changing Colours as is looking forward to the race, saying: “I haven’t ridden him since the last time I won with him on Meydan, but I’m very excited to be back on board. I spoke with Maria Ritchie, assistant to Al Mheiri and she said he’s in top form. I hope the rain doesn’t continue, because it’s been raining a lot here the last two days.”

Carrying bottom weight of 55kg is Olympic Candle, the winner of two of his three starts for Saeed Bin Suroor.

He will be ridden by Richie Mullen, who said; “he’s two from three in the UK and an exciting spare ride to pick up. It’s always nice to ride for Saeed. We go back a long way as I had my first ever winner in Dubai for Saeed in 2000, on Grazalema in the Al Fahidi Fort.”

A comparatively small field of eight go in the Land Rover Handicap, race eight, over 1400m on dirt. They include My Dubawi, an emphatic winner last time for Bhupat Seemar and Tadhg O’Shea.

Up against him is a local newcomer, Irregular Warfare, who won two of his three starts in the UK for Roger Varian and has now moved to Fawzi Nass.

“He’s definitely an interesting horse but he’s had a few setbacks so he could need the run,” said jockey De Vries. “He’s talented though and I’m pretty sure he’ll go on dirt.”

Another capacity field of 16 goes to post in the closing Defender 90 Handicap, over 2000m on turf. A leading contender looks to be Arabian Tale, who will be ridden by O’Shea for Seemar.

“He’s a lovely horse and I’m looking forward to riding him,” said the 11-time UAE Champion Jockey. “He won really well on just his second local start at Abu Dhabi last time and I think this step up in trip will suit him.”

Racing begins at 15h30 with the Defender X-Dynamic Defender Maiden for Purebred Arabians in which has another capacity field of 14.

  • www.dubairacingclub.com

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