Reynaldothewizard Is Magic at Meydan

Photo: Dubai Racing Club // Andrew Watkins

Old Campaigner to Attempt Dubai Golden Shaheen Double Following Dubawi Stakes Walkover

Veteran sprinter, Reynaldothewizard cast a spell over Meydan Racecourse on Thursday evening, bolting to a three-and-three-quarter-length Listed Dubawi Stakes victory in the Dubai World Cup Carnival.

The 2013 Dubai Golden Shaheen hero, who has not won since that victory, accelerated away from a field that included Russian Soul, United Color and Muarrab under regular jockey, Richard Mullen on a DP World-sponsored race night.

It was the Musabah Al Muhairi-trained runner-up, Muarrab, defending a four-race unbeaten streak, that put up the nearest thing to a fight. Yet once Mullen asked for effort after rounding the final bend, Reynaldothewizard burst from between horses, reeled in Muarrab and pulled smoothly away.

His trainer, Satish Seemar was delighted and a little surprised.

“He did two unusual things tonight,” said the Zabeel Stables conditioner. “He is not usually 100 per cent on his first outing and he was running on dirt when he’s been used to the all-weather. I know he has form on the dirt from America, but he looked to be one or two lengths better on the dirt than he was on the all-weather. He was supposed to run a few weeks ago but he was not 100 per cent so we gave him a bit longer.

“He’s a horse that needs to be lightly raced and we might only look at a Super Saturday outing before going back to the Dubai Golden Shaheen on Dubai World Cup day.”

Jockey, Mullen was hopeful of getting the old campaigner to the big sprint race on Saturday March 28, 2015.

“It’s all credit to the team for keeping him interested in his racing and keeping him sound,” he said. “He’s a funny horse. I didn’t know what to think going into this race because he never shows much at home.

“He works with maidens and 60 or 70 rated horses and barely gets his nose in front of them. Of course he does work on sand at home but he never shows us much. But he felt better on the dirt tonight than he did on the all-weather. I’m sure the boss will be talking to [owner] Sheikh Rashid Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum about what’s next but we’ve followed the pattern of three runs per season for him in the past so I don’t see any reason why that would change.”

The Mike de Kock-trained Mubtaahij has gone from a maiden to a UAE Derby contender in the space of two weeks after romping home on both of his two Meydan Racecourse starts this season.

He carried jockey, Dane O’Neill to an impressive five-length victory in Thursday’s UAE 2000 Guineas Trial on the Meydan dirt, performing in company that was a definite grade up from the maiden he claimed by three-quarters-of-a-length in late December.

Mubtaahij was only wearing the second colours of his owner, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum having been overlooked by Mike de Kock’s number one jockey, Christophe Soumillon in favour of Ajwad.

Though Soumillon was on the wrong one, it was not a terrible choice as Ajwad followed Mubtaahij home for a De Kock 1-2 in the 1400m race.

Afterwards De Kock set out plans for Mubtaahij to take in the UAE Derby on Dubai World Cup day via the 2000 Guineas.

“I felt that given the dirt, as things are, it is good to give horses experience,” he said. “Experience does them no harm at all. With these Classic races you need to be hard and fit. I might leave the Al Bastikaya and go for the [2000] Guineas and Derby.”

Racing opened with the UAE 1000 Guineas Trial which jockey James Doyle score with a well-timed ride on Local Time for Godolphin trainer, Saeed Bin Suroor. It took a photo to separate the Godolphin runner from Mike de Kock’s Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum-owned, Ad Idem under Paul Hanagan.

Meanwhile the Ali Rashid Al Raihe-trained Le Bernadin claimed his second consecutive Meydan victory, cruising to a four-and-three-quarter-length win under Royston Ffrench in the Mina Al Hamriya.

Haafaguinea gave Bin Suroor and Doyle a double on the night when he ground down the Salem Bin Ghadayer-trained Mr Pommeroy under Mickael Barzalona in the 2000m Jebel Ali Port handicap on the turf.