News

Double delight at Meydan

Racing returned to Meydan on Thursday evening for a competitive six race card, all on the all-weather surface and sponsored by Emirates Airline.
The opening race of the new Meydan campaign was the 1400m Purebred Arabian handicap Wolgan Valley, and the progressive Af Amthaal made it five wins from ten starts. Now seven, he is trained by Bakhit Al Ketbi and has now won on turf, dirt and all-weather. Willie Supple was in the saddle and said: "He travelled nicely and was very brave when he needed to be. He is improving and very versatile with regard to underfoot conditions."
Champion Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe had surprisingly drawn a blank at the meetings at Jebel Ali and Abu Dhabi last week but posted a quickfire double at the end of the night. The penultimate 1600m handicap, Emirates Holidays, the official feature on the card, was won by his Aamaaq with Richard Hills in the saddle for his main employer His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Hills always looked confident on the seven year old, settled in behind the fats early pace, who picked up nicely when the gap appeared 300m out. The pair ran on strongly and Hills was relieved: "We always liked this horse and it is great he has bounced back here. He seems to relish this surface and hopefully we can find another race for him."
Al Raihe was back in the winner`s enclosure after the concluding 1900m Emirates Airline handicap which was won easily by Rochdale, providing the trainer`s stable jockey Royston Ffrench with a first winner of the season.
Ffrench said: "Rochdale is a nice old horse who seldom runs a bad race. He has really enjoyed the all-weather and I was very happy turning for home. It is nice to get a winner and great the yard had two."
Saudi Summer made a winning racecourse debut in Skywards, a 1400m maiden, to the relief of stable jockey Richard Mullen who picked the right one from four Seemar runners. The jockey said: "That is a pleasing start to his career and he quickened nicely when I asked him. It was a nice performance and a relief to pick the right one!"
Seemar was another trainer in double form with apprentice Harry Bentley opening his UAE account on Reylaldothewizard in the 1200m Emirates Sky Cargo. Bentley timed his challenge to perfection, leading near the line on the lightly-raced four-year-old.
Bentley said: "It is a great opportunity to ride in Dubai and I am very grateful to all concerned. The horse picked up nicely and we knew he would be staying on."
Wayne Smith was another to pick the right one and won the 1400m Arabian Adventures on Always Emirates, trained by his main employer Musabah Al Muhairi. Never far off the pace, he picked up nicely turning for home and ran on strongly to land the spoils. Smith was delighted: "I was hoping for a big run as he has been training well on the new surface. The horses are in good form."