The opening rounds of the Maktoum Challenge were the highlights at Meydan Racecourse's opening meeting of the 2013 Dubai World Cup Carnival on Thursday night and the local favourite Barbecue Eddie recorded his seventh course win in the Group 2 thoroughbred contest.
Trained by Doug Watson, he was never far off the pace under Dane O'Neill and ran on gamely once ahead 300m out to record his third course and distance victory this season.
He has also now won at all four Carnivals since racing switched from Nad Al Sheba to Meydan.
It was a biggest thoroughbred winner for Watson who said: "We were very hopeful and he is just a great horse for the yard.
"The Godolphin Mile on Dubai World Cup night is the main target."
The opening Purebred Arabian equivalent, a Group 1 contest, was won by Areem who made all the running under Ahmed Ajtebi to lead home a 1-2-3 for the owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed and trainer Majed Al Jahouri.
They set a new track record with the win, as did Fityaan, ridden by Paul Hanagan, who landed the first turf race of the season, a 1,000m handicap, for the trainer Musabah Al Muhairi and then Royal Empire landed the following 1,900m Tapeta handicap.
Trained by Saeed bin Suroor, he was chased home by stable companions Kassiano and Start Right with Silvestre De Sousa in the saddle on the winner.
The trainer and jockey then doubled up with the ultra impressive Sharestan who was a third course record breaker of the evening in the 1,800m Al Rashidiya Trial on the turf.
Bin Suroor said: "It was his first start for us and a very pleasing one. He should have improved from that and we will aim him at the big grass races over this kind of trip. It is nice to get a double on the first night and to saddle a 1-2-3 is always special."
A cracking weekend of racing continues at Jebel Ali this afternoon where four of the six races would easily have graced yesterday's Meydan Carnival opener.
The highlight is the 1,950m Jebel Ali Stakes, the first of the track's three feature races of the season and this one carries Listed status.
Treble Jig bids to become the first horse to win the race twice, to add to his historic win in last year's Jebel Ali Mile as well and he will be hard to beat as he seeks a fourth course win on his fourth visit.
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