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Meydan closes out 2014 with a special New Years Eve racecard

Trainer Mike de Kock sends out Journeyman in hopes of bigger races in 2015

Meydan racecourse has the honour of staging the final UAE meeting of 2014 with a six race card scheduled for Wednesday with an earlier than usual start time of 6.10pm for the New Year’s Eve meeting.

The night will feature the return to local action for South African training legend, Mike De Kock, who has three runners on the card, including Journeyman in the most valuable race on the card, a 1400m handicap.

“He had three runs here last season,” said De Kock. “He is ready for a race and we want to try him on the dirt with a Carnival campaign in mind.”

Journeyman will face nine rivals, including two trained by Doug Watson for HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The owner’s retained jockey, Dane O’Neill, will ride Marching Time, leaving stable jockey, Pat Dobbs, to partner stable companion, Washaar who will be making his local/dirt debut.

“Marching Time has been in great form this season and should run another big race,” said Watson. “The draw could have been kinder but he is in great form and deserves a bit of luck after three good seconds.

“Washaar has some really good juvenile form but has been off now over a year. Basically, we just need to try him on the dirt so we know how to campaign him looking ahead.

“He is fit and healthy and we are looking forward to running him.”

Sheikh Hamdan will also be represented by Mundahesh, to be ridden by Royston Ffrench for trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

With the Musabah Al Muhairi team firing on all cylinders it would be folly to ignore the claims of Atlantic Brave under stable jockey, Silvestre De Sousa who rode six winners last weekend.

All six of the horse’s wins have been achieved on the dirt at Jebel Ali and he seems prepared for the test on the new Meydan Racecourse surface.

Bannock had one start for Godolphin at last year’s Dubai World Cup Carnival and makes his first start since, having joined Ahmad bin Harmash.

He will serve as the second ride in the UAE for apprentice Louis Steward.

Yaa Wayl represents HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, trainer Dhruba Selvaratnam and stable jockey Oisin Murphy.

He disappointed in his last race but had run well on his reappearance and seasonal debut. A month off may well have freshened him up and he certainly has to be feared in a wide open contest.

Satish Seemar and Richard Mullen are another duo enjoying a great season and are represented by Double Dealer with stable apprentice, Marc Monaghan, on stablemate Signs In The Sand.

However Double Dealer fares, Seemar and Mullen look to hold serious claims in the second race, a 1400m handicap, with Cross Grain. Speaking at a Jebel Ali press conference last week, Mullen highlighted his mount as a horse to follow and the Meydan race looks a good opportunity.

Similarly, however Watson’s runners get on in the feature, his One Man Band looks to hold serious claims in a 1600m handicap on the card with Pat Dobbs aboard.