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Shateh Thwarts Kahayla Hero AF Mathmoon to Star in Pat Dobbs Treble

Shateh wins well in the Gp 2 Bani Yas
Photo: Cedric Lane

Red Stables Trainer Doug Watson Also in Treble Form at Meydan

Purebred Arabian, Shateh recorded a five-and-three-quarter length Group 2 victory at Meydan Racecourse last night in the 1400m Bani Yas presented by Longines Passion in Equestrian.

In doing so he beat 2016 Dubai Kahayla Classic star, AF Mathmoon by a convincing margin and kicked off a highly successful night for jockey, Pat Dobbs who went on to land two more races on the seven-race card presented by Longines.

All eyes were on AF Mathmoon, the winner of this race in 2016 who is trained by Musabbeh Al Mheiri at Oasis Stables who went on to win the Dubai Kahayla Classic on Dubai World Cup day.

However, dropping back to 1400m did not seem to suit him and his jockey, Fernando Jara, was soon niggling at him whereas Dobbs, aboard the Majed Al Jahouri-trained Shateh, always looked happy.

Jumped straight to the front by Dobbs, sporting the colours of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mansour Al Nahyan, Shateh shot clear 700m out and was never to be headed.

AF Mathmoon held second but never threatened to bridge the gap to the winner, with Burning Breeze snatching a distant third late home.

“Shateh is a genuine Group 1 horse and this was only his fourth dirt start,” said Al Jahouri. “He was second on his three other dirt runs, once behind Al Mathmoon in this race last season.

“Al Mathmoon also beat Shateh on turf at Abu Dhabi in the Group 1 Liwa Oasis, but we received weight from him today.
“Shateh has won at 1400m before but we thought he was more of a sprinter so he has surprised me a bit tonight.

“We will probably have to try the 1600m of the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge R1 next.”

Shateh broke the track record in the process to further emphasise the value of his performance.

As he had on Shateh, Dobbs was able to secure the favoured rail position on the Doug Watson-trained Desert Force who was the very easy winner of the first of two 1400m handicaps, the Longines Master Collection.

Having only his second UAE and dirt outing, Watson’s charge stalked the early pace set by Ribaat before leaving that rival trailing in his wake at halfway.

Soon clear, he won by seven lengths and could not have been more impressive.

“He is a horse we have always really liked and ran well first time out,” said Watson. “We will have to see what the handicapper does but we will look for something, probably, in January.

“We hope he is a really nice horse going forward.”

The Longines Dolce Vita was a second 1400m handicap and it too went to the Dobbs and Watson combination, this time courtesy of Mathematics.

Settled in second, Mathematics passed the tiring leader Alraased early in the straight and the race was over as a contest. This completed a treble for the jockey and double for the trainer.

Watson went on to round off a winning treble with the closing 2000m Longines Elegance in Equestrian Handicap when his Tried and True, a graduate of the 2015 Emirates Racing Authority Horses in Training Sale, powered across the line under Sam Hitchcott.

A 1200m maiden, the Longines La Grande Classique, was won very impressively by debutant Shoreditch who led virtually the whole way under Adrie de Vries, providing Al Mheiri some compensation after the defeat of AF Mathmoon.

“This horse ran well when second in a trial the other day,” said De Vries. “He was very professional today and I was certainly impressed.”

Dutchman De Vries later completed a double, riding Stormardal to a smooth victory in the Longines Performance in Equestrian, a 1600m handicap.

Riding for his main employer, Ismail Mohammed, the jockey was content to bide his time in rear with a fierce pace battle ensuing up front with Philosopher, after a slow start, ridden to lead by Xavier Ziani.

Dobbs on Active Spirit looked as though he had wanted the lead but could not get to the rail, with Heavy Metal and Town’s History on their heels.

That quartet led into the straight but Stormardal had made effortless progress to track them and swept past Heavy Metal, who led briefly, to win easily.

A course and distance winner a fortnight ago, Mohammed’s charge was winning a third consecutive race and fourth in five outings. Each one has been over the Meydan 1600m dirt track and trip.

“He loves it around here,” said De Vries. “They went quick which suited him and I was pretty confident from a long way out.
The first Thoroughbred contest was the Longines Conquest Classic, a 1400m fillies’ maiden in which all bar one of the eight runners were two-year-olds.

The younger brigade dominated and Ahmad bin Harmash, who has his string in fine fettle, saddled debutante Nomorerichblondes to a determined victory under Antonio Fresu.

Settled in the middle of the pack, the winner made good progress to challenge Mabrouka on the home turn and the pair had the race between themselves thereafter.

Fresu’s mount hit the front 300m out and ran on well, chased valiantly by Mabrouka with a long way back to the rest.