Meydan Racecourse Hosts Final Meeting Prior to Dubai World Cup

Mutahaddith seeks to land a fourth win of the season at Friday`s Racing at Meydan meeting

Photo: Andrew Watkins

Friday’s Racing at Meydan meeting, the last to be held before the Dubai World Cup on Saturday March 26, features nine graduates from the December Racing in Dubai Sale.

The seven-race card, all on the dirt, is highlighted by a 1600m handicap with six runners remaining in the field from the eight originally declared.

UAE Champion trainer elect, Doug Watson, who celebrated his 50th success of a highly successful season with Cool Cowboy on Super Saturday last weekend, is responsible for two of the remaining sextet.

Stable jockey, Pat Dobbs, who starts the weekend on a personal best of 36 winners, chooses to ride Padlock, on whom he won a 1600m Jebel Ali handicap three week ago.
It was a deserved change of fortune for Watson’s charge, runner-up on his previous four outings since joining the trainer this season, all at Meydan.

“Getting his head back in front has hopefully done his confidence a lot of good,” said Watson. “He remains in great shape, goes well at Meydan and must have a big chance.”

Sam Hitchcott partners stable companion and local debutant, Tried And True, one of two in the race who went through the ring at the Emirates Racing Authority Racing in Dubai Sale in December. He boasts one win for seven starts for Godolphin and Eoin Harty, in the USA.

“He is a nice new horse who has pleased us since joining the yard,” said Watson. “This is the ideal opportunity to get a start into him and find out a bit more about him.

“Whatever he achieves here, he will be a nice horse for next season.”

Should Tried and True prove successful in the race, he will be eligible for the AED15,000 win bonus that will be paid to winning graduates of the sale.

The Watson duo look certain to face a stiff challenge from the Ahmad bin Harmash-trained Fitzgerald, third on his local debut before an impressive 1400m victory at Jebel Ali.

Stable jockey, Freddy Tylicki, in the saddle for both his previous UAE outings, maintains the partnership.

“He ran well first time and relished the 1400m last time at Jebel Ali,” said Tylicki. “He was staying on strongly so the 1600m at Meydan should really suit him.”

Wayne Smith rides Stormardal, a course and distance winner on his penultimate start for Ismail Mohammed, while Scotland Forever, trained by Satish Seemar, takes a big drop in class.

The mount of Richard Mullen, Scotland Forever’s two previous starts were in the Group 3 Al Shindagha Sprint and the Listed Jebel Ali Sprint.

Seemar and Mullen would appear to hold stronger claims in the 1200m handicap with Glenleven on his third start back.
He won on that occasion, over the same trip at Jebel Ali, and may be worth one more chance to build on the promise he has shown between setbacks since his debut in March 2012.
On his most recent visit to Meydan, trainer Musabah Al Muhairi saddled a treble on Super Saturday and he relies on Conform With Fact here.

Under stable jockey, Fernando Jara, he has to concede weight to his nine rivals on what will be only his second start on the Meydan dirt track.

His first was a distant fourth in January 2015 and his subsequent 11 outings have all been at Jebel Ali, including two victories.

The most recent, over 1200m, was three starts ago before an excellent third in the Jebel Ali Sprint Prep over 1000m. He then failed to land a blow in the Jebel Ali Sprint itself.
Watson introduces recent acquisition, Docket, winner of one of his five starts for Godolphin and Harty in the USA and is the mount of Dobbs.

“He is another nice new addition who is going well at home,” said Watson. “He has been off a year though so may need the run.”

Ali Rashid Al Raihe and his stable jockey, Tadhg O’Shea, combine with Mutahaddith, twice a course and distance winner this season, beating the aforementioned Padlock both times.
If able to get to the rail and the lead, he should make a bold bid to record a fourth win of the campaign, having also won at Jebel Ali and the very first meeting of the season.

“He has had a good season and can hopefully be competitive again,” said O’Shea. “He was given a bit of a break after a busy spell so is fresh and well.”

HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his retained jockey, Paul Hanagan, look to pose a serious threat to all in the shape of Alareef, trained by Mike de Kock.

A 1400m course winner on his penultimate start, he has won over 1200m in a maiden on the Scotsville turf in February 2013 and should not be far away here.

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