Dubai // It was an afternoon of doubles at Jebel Ali on Friday afternoon with the trainers Ali Rashid Al Raihe, Musabah Al Muhairi and Satish Seemar all saddling two winners, and the jockeys Richard Mullen and Wayne Smith also enjoying a pair of victories.
Al Raihe's afternoon was highlighted by the easy victory of Haatheq in the featured 1,600-metre conditions race with Paul Hanagan making the perfect start to his first local season as retained jockey to the horse's owner, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid.
Hanagan, appointed to the post in March, rode in the UAE several years ago for Paddy Rudkin but cannot have ridden many easier winners than this. The pair proved far too good for six rivals and had nine lengths to spare at the line.
"That is great and it is always nice to get that first winner on the board, especially in the big race," Hanagan said. "My horse had the best form and was entitled to win, but I did not expect to win like that. I was never really concerned and he showed his class and a touch of acceleration. He should be competitive in some of the Carnival races and back here at Jebel Ali in their big races."
Harry Bentley was in the saddle on the trainer's second winner, Ana Emarati, who won the concluding 1,000m handicap.
On an afternoon of wide-margin winners, Haatheq was not the easiest of them.
That honour went to Interpret who turned the 1,600m maiden into a procession for Al Muhairi and Smith. The winner is a half-brother to the 2007 Dubai World Cup winner Invasor.
"He is still a big baby and quite a nervous type so you would like to think he has more to offer, be it this season or perhaps even next," Smith said. "Obviously, he is unlikely to be another Invasor, but he has plenty of ability and is a horse I really like."
Trainer and jockey completed their double with Firestreak in the 1,200m handicap.
Interpret was not the only exciting unexposed horse to win on the card, with Farrier making it two wins from only three starts in the opening 1,800m handicap for Seemar and Mullen, the horse's first start on dirt.
"He is a big horse who has plenty of growing still to do," Mullen said. "Whatever he achieves this year will be a bonus because he will be a big strong horse in time. He will need time between races this season and this is a horse we have always held high hopes for."
Their second winner was provided by Gold Pearl, who won a 1,400m handicap, just as he had at the previous meeting two weeks ago.
According to his trainer, could step up in class.
"He loves the surface here," said Seemar. "We might just think about running him in the prep race for the Jebel Ali Mile."
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