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Need To Know Seeks Winner`s Circle at Second Meeting of Meydan Season

Picture Credit: Dubai Racing Club // Neville Hopwood

Jockey Royston Ffrench Hopeful Runner Can Build on Jebel Ali Win

Thursday’s second meeting of the new season at Meydan Racecourse is sponsored by Dubai Duty Free and highlighted by a Dh130,000 1600m handicap featuring the progressive Need To Know.

Already a 1600m winner at Jebel Ali this season, the Ali Rashid Al Raihe-trained charge was impressive last term and, judging by his winning return three weeks ago, is still improving.

“We always liked him,” said Ffrench. “He has rarely run a bad race throughout his career and had a good season last time. He won well at the first meeting at Jebel Ali and the runner-up that day, Mawhub, won last week so the form looks good.

“This is probably a better race but we have to be hopeful of a big effort.

Shamaal Nibras made a very pleasing first start for Doug Watson when a closing second in a 1400m handicap at Meydan on opening night. Previously trained locally by Ismail Mohammed, having won for both Ed Dunlop and Richard Hannon in the UK, he looks sure to relish this extra 200m.

He has not won since October 2012 but has run plenty of good races in defeat, and seems to like the Meydan Racecourse dirt making him a big danger under Pat Dobbs.

He is now owned by EERC (Emirates Entertainment Racing Club) whose spokesman, Justin Byrne said: “That was a good first run for us two weeks ago and, on that evidence, the longer trip will suit him. We have Dubai World Cup Carnival aspirations for him so expect a big run to boost his claims.”

Canwinn was second in a 1600m conditions race on this card last year and is starting to look well handicapped for trainer, Dhruba Selvaratnam. He has won on dirt at Jebel Ali and could pose a threat under UK Champion Apprentice Jockey, Oisin Murphy.

Rochdale, now trained by Rashed Bouresly, actually won over course and distance on the equivalent card in 2008 at Nad Al Sheba. He is having his third start of the season already.

HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum owns four of the ten runners and retained jockey, Dane O’Neill, rides Sefri, who is making his dirt debut for trainer, Erwan Charpy. On pedigree the surface should be fine and he showed plenty of promise during his first UAE season.

Silvestre De Sousa rides for the first time as official stable jockey to Musabah Al Muhairi and partners Ajraam, also owned by Sheikh Hamdan.

The second most valuable race is a 1200m handicap and De Sousa rides the Al Muhairi-trained Art Wave who looked the likely winner of a 1400m handicap at Jebel Ali last Friday, only to hang violently in the closing stages forfeiting victory.

With De Sousa replacing apprentice George Buckell, he looks the one to beat.

Satish Seemar has made a great start to the season and saddles Price Is Truth, the mount of stable jockey, Richard Mullen. Price Is Truth was the very easy winner of a 1200m Sharjah handicap on his return to action almost two weeks ago.

That was his first win, at the 13th attempt, and he is considered a dirt specialist by connections so it will be interesting to see how he fares here.

Stable companion, Zalzilah, to be ridden by the stable’s apprentice jockey, Marc Monaghan, made a pleasing local debut at Jebel Ali three weeks ago and should also go well.