Haatheq Makes Successful Return to Meydan

Photo: Cedric Lane (

It was perhaps predictable but Haatheq did not disappoint and landed the featured 1600m Conditions race under Dane O`Neill.

The star turn at Meydan`s second meeting of the season on Thursday evening, finished his 2012-13 season by finishing second to Soft Falling Rain in the Dubai World Cup day Godolphin Mile.

O`Neill, riding for his main employer, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said: "I did not want to be too hard on him as he has a long season ahead so that was basically perfect. He will have needed that so should improve and he will be campaigned between here and Jebel Ali where he also goes particularly well."

His trainer, Ali Rashid Al Raihe, had already saddled the first two winners having made a particularly strong start to the six race all-weather card sponsored by DUBAL.

As well as Al Raihe’s treble, Haatheq was also completing a double for the owner and jockey following the victory of Mundahesh, who won the preceding 1400m handicap on his first local start.

Mundahesh was doubling his account having won once in England when trained by William Haggas. O`Neill was also in the saddle on that occasion and said: “Obviously I know the horse well and that is a good way to start his UAE career although I was a bit worried the runner-up was going to catch us momentarily.

“As a juvenile we thought a lot of him but last season was disappointing so it is nice see him bounce back.”

The meeting opened with a 1900m maiden and it proved the ideal opportunity for Bravo Ragazzo to open his account at the seventh attempt.

Trained by Al Raihe, he shot clear 400m out and was always under control under Royston Ffrench who said: "That was a great start to the evening and this horse is only three so can hopefully improve."

Al Raihe’s apprentice, Saeed Al Mazrooei then joined the winning action, partnering the Abdulla bin Huzaim-trained Tamarrud to lead in the dying strides in the 1600m handicap.

Settled in rear by the young jockey, Tamarrud ran on strongly in the final 200m to deny Prince Shaun who looked the likely winner when going to the front 200m out.

Al Mazrooei said: “That is four winners this season and I am very pleased. He finished very well once I pulled him wide and I thought I would get there.”

The jockey looked set to complete a double when hitting the front 300m out in the concluding 1900m handicap, only to be caught close home by Richard Mullen on Antinori, trained by Satish Seemar.

Innocuous would have been a very unlucky loser in the 1200m handicap after a torrid passage, but Wayne Smith displayed a cool head and was rewarded with a last last gasp victory.

Clearly travelling best of all 500m out, Smith had nowhere to go but a gap finally appeared, the pair dashed through and picked up well to lead close home.

Smith, riding for his main employer Musabah Al Muhairi, said: “A lot went wrong, both at the start and again in the back straight but he is a good horse and one who likes a battle. Once we were clear I was always going to get up.”