Potential Stars On Show At Meydan On Friday

Meydan Racecourse - season opener starts at 16h00

Meydan Racecourse opens its doors for the 2022/23 season with a seven-race card on Friday,  featuring established and potential stars of the Dubai racing scene.

The Emirates Airline-sponsored evening has twin feature races, both worth AED105,000. They include the Emirates Airline Handicap, race five, a 1600metre handicap for horses rated between 80 and 100.

Oaks winner Down On Da Bayou (Pic – Dubai Racing Club)

Chief billing here goes to 2020 Gr3 UAE Oaks winner Down On Da Bayou (pictured) who returns for her fourth season in training with Salem Bin Ghadayer. A winner twice at Jebel Ali last season, the five-year-old will stake a claim from the front under jockey Royston Ffrench.

The mare faces stiff opposition from a trio of Doug Watson runners, however. The seven-time UAE Champion Trainer saddles Faithful Soldier, recent course and distance winner Scabbard and Far Sky and says that all three have done well during the off-season.

“Both Faithful Soldier and Scabbard are doing really well,” he said. “Scabbard has the experience, but Faithful Soldier showed a lot of ability till his season ended with an injury. I couldn’t pick between them, and Far Sky seems more mature this season, so I wouldn’t count him out either.”

The second of the feature races is the 1900metre Emirates Airline Handicap, which sees the return of a former Listed Curlin Stakes winner in New Trails and Al Qaqaa, a winner on this card last year for Watson. The field of seven also includes an interesting Bhupat Seemar-trained pair; George Villiers, successful in a valuable Sharjah contest last season, and Twelfthofneverland. The latter is a three-time course winner, each time when ridden by a claiming rider, and current Zabeel Stables apprentice Connor Planas takes the reins on Friday.

“Good old George [Villiers] is doing well,” said the reigning UAE Champion Trainer. “He got ready early this year. Last year he took his own time and we ran him mid-season. The plan is to run him here and then go to Sharjah again.

“Twelfthofneverland is doing good,” he continued. “He’s usually a horse who wins mid to latter part of the year. He’s a very lazy horse at home so it’s very hard to keep any tabs on him to see where he is. He seems to like apprentices, so we’ve got the right man on him.”

Seemar, who celebrated 30 winners at Meydan Racecourse last season, runs six in the opening contest, an intriguing 1200metre two-year-old maiden, sponsored by Arabian Adventures. His team includes Nasir Askar’s Morning, a son of Munnings, who will be ridden by stable jockey Tadhg O’Shea, and Gun Runner colt Run For The Cash, owned by Fitri Hay, a graduate of the inaugural Dubai Breeze-up Sale in March.

“They’re all doing well, they’re fit, ready to run,” said Seemar. “It will probably do them good, mentally, running in this race. I know we’re running a few but it’s very hard for us to see who is the best one as they all do bridle works. Some of them will improve for the experience, physically and mentally, so that’s why we’re running so many – we can pick and choose where we put them after this.”

Jebel Ali Stables trainer Michael Costa has made a strong start to his UAE career with a double at Jebel Ali on Friday and he runs Waathig and Nayefah, second in the 2021 G3 UAE Oaks, in the Emirates Holidays Maiden, race two, while course winners Miller’s House and Mulfit clash in the Emirates Sky Cargo handicap over 2000metres, race two.

The card closes with an open looking 1200metre handicap, race seven, sponsored by Emirates.com.

The eight runners include course winners Vasari and Way Of Wisdom, and Upper Class, who was unbeaten in South America before transferring to the UAE. He will be a first ride at the track for former Uruguay Champion Jose Da Silva. Seemar welcomes a local debutant in Dukedom, a winner in the UK for John and Thady Gosden, who looks interesting under O’Shea, from stall eight.

  • The first is off at 16h00.

Have Your Say - *Please Use Your Name & Surname

Comments Policy
The Sporting Post encourages readers to comment in the spirit of enlightening the topic being discussed, to add opinions or correct errors. All posts are accepted on the condition that the Sporting Post can at any time alter, correct or remove comments, either partially or entirely.

All posters are required to post under their actual name and surname – no anonymous posts or use of pseudonyms will be accepted. You can adjust your display name on your account page or to send corrections privately to the EditorThe Sporting Post will not publish comments submitted anonymously or under pseudonyms.

Please note that the views that are published are not necessarily those of the Sporting Post.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments



Popular Posts