Military Law spoils Gronkowski’s first start for the season at Meydan
Dubai World Cup runner-up finishes third in The Entisar
Dubai World Cup runner up Gronkowski’s first start for the season ended in defeat behind Military Law and Saltarin Dubai in The Entisar – one of the two Listed prizes – at Meydan on Thursday.
Royston Ffrench on Gronkowski raced prominently with the early pace setters Talento Puma and Saltarin Dubai, and led briefly as they turned for home, but stayed one-paced as Antonio Fresu came with a strong run from the outside to take the Musabah Al Muhairi-trained Military Law to a comfortable win by three lengths.
Richard Mullen on board Saltarin Dubai stayed on to take second a further length ahead of Gronkowski.
“Two weeks ago first time out on the dirt, he (Military Law) missed the break and finished sixth,” Fresu said.
“The mile that day was too sharp for him. However, we always thought he’s a nice horse as he worked very well in the mornings.
“I told both Musabah and [owner] Nasir Askar to run him in this Listed race over 10 furlongs. To be honest, I didn’t think he was that tough when I saw Gronkowski and Saltarin Dubai.
“We had a good draw [in Gate 1] and Saltarin Dubai gave us a good tow all the way round. When I took him to the outside, he quickened up and finished really well. He will be a nice horse for the [Dubai World Cup] Carnival.”
Al Muhairi completed the Listed prize double when Dane O’Neill steered Ibn Malik to take The Garhoud Sprint 35 minutes later.
Celtic Prince won his first race in five career starts to provide his trainer Rashed Bouresly with his first success of the season and jockey David Lister his first winner in the UAE.
Mullen and Satish Seemar, the jockey-trainer partnership with Majestic Thunder beaten by a neck in the opener, took the second race with Commanding, who made all to win from Dark Of Night under Szczepan Mazur in the Conditions race for two-year-olds.
“He’s a work in process,” Mullen said of the winning Commacho colt. “He’s a big raw horse and doesn’t know what’s all about it.
“He’s going to progress but life’s not going to be easy from now onwards. He goes into the UAE Guineas Trials, then the Guineas, Bastakiya and the Derby.
“It doesn’t get any easier for a horse that has run only twice. He saw out (1,600m) the trip well and going further, that’s another question mark.”
Doug Watson saddled a treble on the night. Pat Dobbs rode a double for him on Grand Argentier and Midnight Sands, and Sam Hitchcott won on Arch Gold in-between.
Updated: December 6, 2019 08:48 AM