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Fantastic Four for Al Muhairi at Meydan`s Opening Meeting

Photo: www.erikarphotography.com Erika Rasmussen

Ali Rashid Al Raihe Claims 250th Dubai Winner

Musabah Al Muhairi was in dominant form at Meydan yesterday (Thursday) not only winning the first four races on the Emirates-sponsored card, but on three of those occasions, also saddling the runner-up.

Stable jockey, Wayne Smith was aboard Ramonti Flash who won a 1600m handicap, one of two featured races on the card. Always prominent, Smith committed for home a long way out and the pair always had matters under control. They were chased home by stablemate Mashaaref, under Dane O’Neill.

Smith, who was completing a double having not ridden a Meydan winner since February 2012, said: "Wow, what an evening it has been so far and this one really surprised me as I thought he was up against it. Basically the horses are flying."

The opening 1400m maiden was comfortably claimed by Comicality, making a winning debut for Musabah Al Muhairi and denying stable companion Muhtaram who was never far off the pace under Pat Dobbs.

Dane O`Neill rode the winner and said: "He is a lovely big horse with plenty of scope. Stable jockey, Wayne Smith told me he had been working well and he was right."

The trainer promptly completed a double with stable jockey Smith aboard Hazaz who ran on strongly to win a 1400m handicap. Remarkably, the former Champion Jockey failed to register a Meydan winner last season and he committed his mount for home 600m out. The pair never looked likely to be caught and Smith said: "That is a relief to get a winner here on the first night. This fellow ran at Jebel Ali last week which put him spot on for this."

The Al Muhairi bandwagon continued with another one-two in the third race, a 1200m handicap with Smith on runner-up Innocuous who could not catch stable companion Chasing Halos. Pat Dobbs rode the winner and said: "I was always travelling well, then he picked up nicely and ran on strongly. The yard are clearly in great form!"

Like Hazaz and Ramonti Flash the winner is owned by Fathi Esaed Mohd Egziama.

Al Muhairi had two runners in the second featured handicap, a 2000m contest but his pair, Enery and Interpret, were never able to land a blow in a race won by the Ali Rashid Al Raihe-trained Ukranian. He was produced by stable jockey, Royston Ffrench to lead close home and deny long-time leader, Rebel Song.

It was the former Champion Trainer’s 250th UAE winner and Ffrench said: “That is a great landmark for the boss who works really hard and deserves all the success he gets. I was always hopeful we were going to catch the leader and we made it just in time.

“The horses have been running well enough and we are looking forward to another good season hopefully.”

Racing finished with a 1900m handicap and El Mansour landed the spoils under Champion Jockey Tadhg O’Shea who set sail for home 700m out and they held on grimly. It was a welcome Thoroughbred winner for Champion Trainer Ernst Oertel, still on crutches after a bad riding accident in the summer.