Double Delight For Al Raihe, Al Muhairi And Seemar At Jebel Ali Dubai Racing Club Trainers In Great First Day Form

It was a case of doubles all round at Jebel Ali as racing returned to the UAE on Friday afternoon.

Trainers Ali Rashid Al Raihe, Musabah Al Muhairi and Satish Seemar cleaned up, winning two races each at the popular Dubai course.

Champion Trainer, AlI Rashid Al Raihe, and stable jockey, Royston Ffrench, highlighted their brace with the victory of Hajoum in the featured 1000m handicap, kindly sponsored by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Shadwell.

Never far off the pace under Ffrench, Hajoum was kicked clear about 300m out and the pair always looked likely to hold the late challenges of Hajjaan and course specialist My Verse.

It was a second UAE victory for the highly-regarded 6 year old after a Meydan Racecourse win last December and Ffrench said: “He is a horse who has always shown a lot at home and he has now won on the dirt here, all-weather and turf in England so he is clearly versatile and coped well with this drop to the minimum trip.

“It is always nice to get an early winner on the board and the horses seem in good form. Hopefully we have some nice horses to look forward to throughout the season.”

Trainer and jockey were back in the winner’s enclosure after the penultimate race, the second of two 1,200m handicaps, which they won with Myownway who made the most of the troubled passages suffered by half of his six opponents to win comfortably.

It was a messy race and Ffrench said: “When the trouble happened I was in the middle of the track and always going to stay there. The leader veered across and took about three with him which made my task much easier.

“My horse enjoyed a clear run and responded well.”

The opening race of the new campaign, a 1,600m handicap, was won by Mashaaref, sporting the second colours of HH Sheikh Hamdan, with Wayne Smith in the saddle for his main employer Musabah Al Muhairi.

The pair then later teamed up with Straight Talk who ran out a convincing winner in the concluding 1,400m handicap which, on paper, had looked the most competitive race on the card. But Smith’s mount could be called the winner a long way out.

The former champion jockey said: “He did well to win his maiden last year when he was still a big baby and has improved mentally and physically over the summer. He did that nicely and hopefully the handicapper does not overreact.

“Winning the first race of the new season is always nice and we were hoping for a bright start after a slow beginning last season.”

The other duo in double form were Satish Seemar and Richard Mullen whose Al Razi won the first 1,200m handicap, exactly a year after he won an identical race on the first day of last season. As pleasing as his victory was though, it was the win of their Glenleven in the 1,000m maiden which really caught the eye on only his second career start.

Clearly held in the highest regard by jockey and trainer, the 4 year oold failed to beat a rival on his sole previous start at Meydan Racecourse last year but made no mistake on this occasion.

A delighted Mullen said: “We could not understand what happened at Meydan as we really thought he would win so it is great to get his head in front this time. He has probably needed the race today and it was very pleasing that he battled back when the runner-up came to him.

“Hopefully he can build on this.”