Dubai racing operation and Saeed bin Suroor triumph in fourth race on a memorable night for UAE champion trainer Doug Watson
Pat Cosgrave guides Godolphin's Naaeebb to victory in Meydan's opener
Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor got one on the board when Naaeebb emerged an impressive winner on the opening meeting at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday night.
Drawn wide at Gate 13 in a race comprising 14 horses, the Darley Stud-bred, liver-coloured chestnut by Lonhro, began by running on the outside of the early pace setters before clinching the race by a length-and-a-quarter and beating Conquerant under Adrie de Vries.
Jockey Pat Cosgrave, who completed a double having steered the Helal Al Alawi-trained Rothenburg in the previous race, declared the Godolphin runner a horse for the future.
“I was impressed riding him [for the] first time,” he said. “He’s only a three-year-old and he’ll be a good horse next year.
“He’s got a bit to learn but he did his job nicely at the end.”
Cosgrave had a similar ride aboard Rothenburg in the preceding third race of the seven-race card.
He steamed out of the widest gate – No 14 – to take the other Maiden prize on the card by prevailing over Street Of Dreams by one-and-a-quarter lengths.
Jockey Tadhg O’Shea guided the Ali Rashid Al Rayhi-trained Trinity Force to a narrow victory over Mizbah to claim the Dh195,000 Handicap, the most valuable prize on offer.
Pat Dobbs, another star jockey in action on Thursday, moved Misbah out of the gates quickly and ran him along the rails. He held on to the lead for almost the entire race, over 2,000 metres, until he was pipped near the post by O’Shea.
UAE champion trainer Doug Watson saddled two winners after Almanaara and Galvanize finished first in the last two races on the card.
Circle Dream under Antonio Fresu clinched the opener, a Maiden run over 1,200m, to give trainer Satish Seemar his first winner of the season.
However, most impressive in the race was Daffg, who came from a long way from the back to take third place under Fernando Jara.
Fresu, who had taken the reins of the Oasis Dream colt in a trial run at Meydan two weeks ago, said he rode a similar race except there was clear improvement from that day.
“He was quick to get out of the gates in the trails but got tired towards the end,” Fresu said. “On this occasion he got out similarly to and set the pace, but stayed well this time until the end.”
Xavier Ziani produced a strong late run on Pit Stop to collar stable companion Pirate’s Cove, the mount of Royston Ffrench, in the last few strides to take the second race.
“I saw him win a race in similar style and rode him the same way,” Ziani said. “However, a furlong from home, I wasn’t sure he would catch Pirate’s Cove.
“Then I saw him slowing down and my horse was full of running towards the end. He likes to be held up and has a good turn of foot.”