DUBAI // Ali Rashid Al Raihe won five of six races at Meydan Racecourse Saturday night but the champion trainer was unable to celebrate his achievement after being taken ill at the track.
Al Raihe was taken to hospital after watching his first three winners cross the line. But he was well enough to receive news of his record-equalling fourth and fifth victories by a telephone call from his assistant, Jailani Siddiqi.
Al Raihe is the first trainer to claim five races from a six-race card in the UAE, although fellow Emirati handler, Ismael Mohammed, did take five races from an eight-race card at Nad Al Sheba in 2007.
"We are just waiting to hear about the boss," said Siddiqi, who headed to the hospital as soon as the last race was finished. "Today has been a very good day for our stable."
Al Raihe's extraordinary winning run began in the second race, a 1,400m all-weather handicap, when El Wasmi, ridden by Emirati apprentice, Saeed Al Mazrooei snatched victory by a quarter-of-a-length.
The filly Hadba then followed up in the next 1,900m race under Silvestre de Sousa, and it was De Sousa who steered the mare, Garbah, to victory in the 1,200m race four.
Richard Hills claimed the 501st winner of his Dubai career when he steered Al Raihe's Sharaayeen through traffic for the 2,200m race 5, and Rutland Boy under Kevin Shea, claimed the final race of the evening by half-a-length.
"El Wasmi's win was very good," said Siddiqi. "He took advantage of Saeed's weight allowance and Saeed rode very well in the finish. Hadba is a very small filly but she has a lot of heart and just kept going to the line."
Garbah, who had finished a disappointing 12th in her previous run, won convincingly last night.
"It was the draw that beat her last time," said Siddiqi.
"Sharaayeen's was a very good run, too.
"The results are great for the team at Grandstand Stables."
Al Raihe is now all but certain to claim a third consecutive trainers' championship.
Stable jockey, Royston Ffrench missed out on the historic day as he is serving out a ban.
The only other race of the night, the opening 1,400m maiden went to Zabeel Stables trainer, Satish Seemar.
Al Naouwee broke his maiden by a short head under jockey Pat Cosgrave.
The five year old ran keenly in the opening stages and held on for the win.