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Seasoned Star Reynaldothewizard Casts Spell Over Meydan

Reynaldothewizard is on track for a Dubai Golden Shaheen tilt following victory in the Listed Dubawi Stakes at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday.

Credit: Dubai Racing Club//Andrew Watkins

Watson’s Polar River Continues Upwards Spiral

Veteran sprinter, Reynaldothewizard proved age is no barrier at the Meydan Racecourse on Thursday, claiming the Listed Dubawi Stakes and setting course for another tilt at the Group 1 US$1m Dubai Golden Shaheen.

Last week it was Ali Rashid Al Raihe with four winners, this week it was Satish Seemar in dominant form at the second meeting of the 2016 Dubai World Cup Carnival.

For the second year running Reynaldothewizard made a winning seasonal debut in the Listed $150,000 Dubawi Stakes over 1200m, the official feature. The 10 year old US-bred was actually completing a hat-trick of wins in the Dubawi Stakes, having also won the same contest when a conditions race in 2013, the same year he won the Dubai Golden Shaheen.

The Dubai World Cup-day dirt sprint will be his ultimate target this year although he did miss the race last year after a setback.
With Letsgoforit setting a scorching early pace, Mullen settled his mount just behind the speed and was able to find plenty of racing room when several rivals swung a bit wide on the turn.

Letsgoforit briefly looked to have stolen the race from the front for Sweden but Mullen was alive to the risk and went after him at the top of the straight, snaring his rival 200m from home and winning in style.

“He just loves it around here at Meydan and goes well fresh,” said Mullen. “He shows nothing in his work at home but we thought he was in great form as he has been bucking and kicking in the mornings.

“It is a great team effort and he is a special horse to me having provided my first Group 1 winner.

“I assume we will go for the Al Shindagha Sprint, perhaps Super Saturday with the intention of another crack at the Golden Shaheen.”

Connections were actually completing a double, amazingly with horses sharing a combined age of 21 on their seasonal debuts. Reynaldothewizard is actually a year younger than 11 year old Tiz Now Tiz Then who won the opening non-Carnival 1600m dirt handicap.

The UAE 1000 Guineas Trial, a 1400m dirt contest restricted to three-year-old fillies was won by the ultra-exciting Polar River, ridden by Pat Dobbs to an impressive victory from Godolphin’s Promising Run.

With the eventual runner-up well away and sent straight to the front by James Doyle, Dobbs settled just in behind the speed and looked quite content in the first half of the race.

There was one moment, about 600m out, he had to niggle the filly but she soon picked the bit back up and cruised into contention, on the rail, as the leaders entered the straight.

Dobbs waited for a gap before switching out after which Polar River showed a great turn of foot to put the race to bed in a matter of strides at the 200m pole and they won going away.
She claimed her racetrack debut by almost 14 lengths on her sole previous career start in a 1200m maiden last month as a juvenile. The way she put her elders to the sword then, combined with her easy win this time indicates she seems a filly of massive potential.
“I was delighted with her tonight,” said Dobbs. “It was only her second career outing and she will have learned an awful lot as she ran in snatches and was quite green at times.
“She will be even better over the extra 200m in the UAE 1000 Guineas and is a very smart filly.”

Godolphin opened their Dubai World Cup Carnival account for 2016, supplying both first and second in the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial with James Doyle and Steady Pace winning for trainer, Saeed bin Suroor.
It was close at the line though with William Buick and the Charlie Appleby-trained Rouleau throwing down a late challenge but Doyle’s mount was a nose to the good where it mattered.

Calder Prince tried to make all, stalked by a very keen Steady Pace who chased that rival throughout the final 500m, only heading him 100m out and having enough left to deny Rouleau.

“He basically tried to pull himself up close home,” said Doyle. “We certainly have learned that he will face the kickback as he has had to today and he has shown a really good attitude. He is a decent horse and certainly our main Guineas contender.
“He has handled the 1400m well enough and, hopefully, the 1600m of the Guineas itself will not be a problem.”

Interestingly, Polar River’s time was a second and a half quicker than Steady Pace over the same trip.

The night was to get better for Seemar and Mullen with More Aspen taking the second Listed race on the card, the 1600m Singspiel Stakes on the turf.
In doing so, the five-year-old mare was doubling her career tally on her 22nd career start and it was a first UAE victory at the 16th attempt.

Mullen was in a good position, in the clear just behind the leaders throughout the majority of the race but appeared outpaced as the leaders kicked for home.

But Mullen was conceding defeat and rousted her along, finding the response he required and she finished with purpose to deny Big Baz, representing the UK and trainer, William Muir.
“We have always really liked her,” said Seemar’s assistant trainer, Bhupat Seemar. “She has run some really good races in defeat and has strong form at Abu Dhabi with quality horses such as Forjatt.

“To be honest, we were hoping to run her in a handicap so this is a real bonus and continues our great evening.”

There was a dramatic finish to the 2000m dirt handicap with Oisin Murphy flashing home from the rear of the field on Godolphin’s Good Contact, but too late to deny Munaaser.

Paul Hanagan rode the winner, making his local and dirt debut, for HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

The finale, an uber-competitive 1600m turf handicap, was won by the Mike de Kock-trained Forries Waltz under Christophe Soumillon, returning to winning ways.
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