Saddles Desert Mountain, the only two year old in a 1,400-metre Maiden alongside Naaeebb and Dowayla who both take their chances in separate 1,600m Handicaps
Saeed bin Suroor looking to chalk up Godolphin's first win of the UAE racing season at Meydan
Saeed bin Suroor saddles three runners at Meydan Racecourse this weekend looking to chalk up a first win of the UAE racing season.
Godolphin broke with tradition by sending out Military Parade and Perfect Senseat Jebel Ali Racecourse to kick-start the domestic campaign last week, with the Dubai operation usually keeping their powder dry until the Dubai World Cup Carnival kicks off in January.
Bin Suroor saddles Desert Mountain, the only two year old in a 1,400-metre Maiden alongside Naaeebb and Dowayla who both take their chances in separate 1,600m Handicaps.
Desert Mountain finished last of seven in his only start in a Novice at Newmarket in July and takes his chances in the third race, a Maiden over 1,400m, with Italian Antonio Fresu on-board.
Naaeebb runs in the fourth, a Handicap rated 60-75, and Dowayla, who has won twice in eight starts, in the concluding Handicap (80-89). Pat Cosgrave rides both.
The seven-race card with a total prize purse of over Dh1.1million gets underway with a Maiden run over 1,200m for unraced two year olds from the Northern hemisphere and three year olds from the Southern hemisphere in which the connections will be hoping to unearth potential UAE Classic prospects for 2018.
The Farooq Racing Syndicate have four of their two year olds entered, including Zahrat Jumeirah, a chestnut filly by Scat Daddy.
“She’s been working well at home, and if we have any chance in the race, it will be her,” said Ali Farooq, the racing manager.
“We’ll be surprised if the others finish in the frame, but in horse racing everything is possible.”
Satish Seemar has three entered with the stable's UAE champion jockey Richard Mullen electing to ride One Season.
The feature race on the card is the fifth, a Handicap run over 2,000m that has drawn 14 runners, including six by the UAE champion trainer Doug Watson.
The Red Stables trainer has been successful in the race for the past two seasons with Etijaah for one of his main patrons Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid. Three of the six Watson-trained runners are for the UAE’s perennial leading owner of thoroughbreds whose retained jockey, Jim Crowley, rides Nathr.
Also sporting Sheikh Hamdan’s blue and white silks are Mutamakkin and Jeeraan, the mounts of Fernando Jara and Tom Marquand respectively.
“We just happen to have several horses for whom this race appears the ideal place to get their season started,” Watson said.
“We have been happy with all six in their work at home and they should run well but will improve for the outing.
“Storm Belt could have been drawn better so, if forced to nominate our best chance, I would probably side with Mizbah. But hopefully they will all be competitive in an open heat.”
Pat Dobbs, the stable jockey, rides Mizbah for the Emirates Entertainment Racing Club, and Sam Hitchcott is atop Storm Belt in the silks of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed.
Seemar sends out Dawwass, the chestnut colt by Speightstown ridden by Mullen, who is still a maiden after four starts last season.
“We hope has improved over the summer,” said Bhupat Seemar, assistant trainer.
“We think this distance will really suit him and we hope he will run well in what looks a very competitive race.”
Ahmed bin Harmash, the Emirati trainer, saddles Brabbham, Handsome Man and Snow Squall.
“All three are fit and well,” he said. “Snow Squall has not actually run on the dirt at Meydan so we’ll see how he goes but we think he is probably a turf horse.
“We know conditions suit Brabbham and Handsome Man was second in this race last year. Hopefully he can go one better.”