x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Chavez hopes for Obvious win on his Meydan Racecourse debut

The Panamanian jockey replaces the injured Benny Woodworth to ride for Steven Burridge today.

Dark Matter, ridden by Ted Durcan, won the UAE 2000 Guineas Trials at Meydan for the Singapore-based trainer Steven Burridge. Oscar Chavez will ride Burridge’s mount today.
Dark Matter, ridden by Ted Durcan, won the UAE 2000 Guineas Trials at Meydan for the Singapore-based trainer Steven Burridge. Oscar Chavez will ride Burridge’s mount today.

Steven Burridge made a lasting impression on his debut as a trainer at Meydan Racecourse and another Singapore-based horseman hopes to have a similar impact on his first appearance at the Dubai track today.

Burridge saddled Apache Crown into fourth eight days ago but barely 40 minutes later he sent out his first winner in the Emirates when Dark Matter took the UAE 2000 Guineas trial.

Both horses were ridden by Ted Durcan, but the former UAE champion rider will not be in the irons today aboard Captain Obvious, Burridge's entry in the Al Naboodah Contruction Group conditions race over 1,200m.

Instead, Oscar Chavez will make his Meydan debut, having flown in on Tuesday to partner Ip Man in Saturday's final race at Meydan, and the Panamanian jockey only picked up the ride after regular pilot Benny Woodworth dislocated his shoulder at Kranji Racecourse in Singapore on Sunday.

"I feel sorry for Benny, who is a good friend of mine, but that's racing," Chavez said.

"I've never ridden in Dubai and I'm really looking forward to the experience. To me, Ip Man is as good as Dark Matter, and on that form, he should have a chance."

Chavez has never ridden Captain Obvious but the seven year old is an uncomplicated mount, according to Burridge.

"It's a pity Benny won't be able to ride Captain Obvious here as he knows the horse inside out," the Australian trainer said. "He's a jump-and-run type of horse and I'm sure Oscar won't have any problems with him."

Both Apache Crown and Dark Matter came out well from their exertions and Burrdige revealed to the Singapore Turf Club that Durcan could well reprise the rides when they appear once again at Meydan next Thursday.

"I wanted to keep two weeks between runs," he said. "I haven't decided who will ride. It could be Ted again, I'm not sure. It all depends.

"One thing's for sure it won't be Oscar.

"He's only riding these two this weekend and is going back to Singapore straight after."

sports@thenational.ae