Satish Seemar has developed a cold. Four days ago the master of Zabeel Stables picked up a cough and talking to him he sounds exactly as if, as he describes, he went out one night this past two weeks without a jumper.
Thankfully Reynaldothewizard is a hardier sort and comes into Thursday night’s Dubawi Stakes at Meydan Racecourse ready to add to his sequence of three successive Dubai World Cup Carnival wins.
Seemar’s stable flag-bearer has not raced since becoming the joint-oldest winner of the Dubai Golden Shaheen in March.
The eight-year-old gelding added that Group 1 contest to his wins last season in the Mahab Al Shimaal and the Dubawi Stakes, which 12 months ago was a Conditions event without Thursday night’s Listed status.
Reynaldothewizard has a good record running fresh. He won on his debut in the UAE in November 2010, having been transferred from America. He won again on his seasonal debut in 2011 when defeating Barbecue Eddie, but was only fifth last year on his first start.
As is Seemar’s custom, Reynaldothewizard did his final piece of serious work five days ago under regular rider Richie Mullen and the trainer means business.
“He has survived this cold spell that we have had,” Seemar said. “I know it is not a European cold snap but a change is a change and horses can get coughs or mucus, but he is fine.
“From my point of view he is spot on for the race and his last piece of work was amazing. I am going for the win.”
The last time Reynaldothewizard, Balmont Mast, Krypton Factor, United Colour and Kavanagh all raced together the prize was the Shaheen’s $US2 million (Dh7.34m) purse.
Reynaldothewizard hit the front 400 metres from the finish and simply could not be pegged back as first Krypton Factor, and then Balmont Mast, tried in vain to reel him in.
Balmont Mast was second, Krypton Factor third, United Colour fifth with Kavanagh in behind in sixth and all five face off again tonight over the same Tapeta course and 1,200m distance.
After Reynaldothewizard’s Shaheen success, Seemar received invitations to take the Global Sprint Challenge winner around the world. It was a temptation he resisted, preferring to give his horse the rest he needed before getting on the road towards a defence of his title.
All five horses are likely to meet once again in the Golden Shaheen in March, when Reynaldothewizard will bid to become only the second horse after the American sprinter Caller One to win the sprint twice.
He is already a year older than Big Jag, who scooped the Shaheen at Nad Al Sheba as a seven-year-old in 2000 and after 18 races he can no longer take them in his stride as he once used to.
“He is not a horse you can race too much and only had three runs before the Golden Shaheen last year and that could well be the case again,” Mullen said. “He seems in great form at home and I am looking forward to getting him back on the track.”
With the grizzled veteran Hitchens, aged nine, also in the line-up the nine runners between them boast 53 starts at Meydan, with only Farmleigh House having his first appearance there.
The Dubawi Stakes therefore is a marked contrast to the UAE 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas Trials run earlier on the card, which both offer a glimpse of the future.
Twelve months ago Soft Falling Rain was unleashed on Dubai, and after winning the Trial, he took the UAE 2,000 Guineas en route to the Godolphin Mile on World Cup night.
Trainer Mike De Kock has entered Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid’s Full Combat and Journeyman in a bid to repeat the trick, while Godolphin, who secured three wins last week on the opening night of the Carnival, rely on Saeed Bin Suroor’s Emirates Flyer and Charlie Appleby Safety Check.
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