x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Mushreq leads the charge for trainer Mike de Kock at Meydan

South African trainer declares horse a 'real revelation' as it delivers a 1-2 in the US$250,000 Al Fahidi Fort Group 2 race and gives De Kock a brace of wins on the night.

Paul Hanagan rode Mushreq, centre, to victory in the US$250,000 Al Fahidi Fort race at Meydan Racecourse, giving trainer Mike de Kock a 1-2 finish in the race and a second win on the night.
Paul Hanagan rode Mushreq, centre, to victory in the US$250,000 Al Fahidi Fort race at Meydan Racecourse, giving trainer Mike de Kock a 1-2 finish in the race and a second win on the night.

Dubai // South Africa maintained their domination on Thursday night in the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort with Mushreq and Paul Hanagan supplying his trainer Mike de Kock with a fifth win in the 1,600 metre turf feature and an eighth win in the race for the handler's homeland since he saddled subsequent Group 1 Dubai Duty Free winner Ipi Tombe in 2003.

Stable companions Master Of Hounds and Musir were second and fourth respectively on their seasonal debuts at Meydan Racecourse, whereas the winner was having his fifth start of 2013.

De Kock said: "Mushreq has been a real revelation and the way he has done that we will have to try and get him in the Dubai Duty Free.

"Master Of Hounds really surprised me as I thought he would need it and that was a good run from Musir after his long break."

The trainer was completing a double after the victory of Await The Dawn who broke the 2,000m turf track record at Meydan when defying top-weight in a handicap on his second start for the South African. Pat Cosgrave was in the saddle.

De Kock said: "We hope he is a Dubai World Cup night horse - though an exact target has yet to be finalised."

Earlier De Kock was out of luck when Igugu could only finish third in the Group 2 Balanchine Stakes, an 1,800m turf race for fillies and mares.

It was won by Godolphin's Sajjhaa who comfortably followed up her 1,600m Group 2 Cape Verdi success and defied a penalty for that victory to secure both the Carnival features restricted to fillies and mares. As he was four weeks ago, Silvestre De Sousa was in the saddle for Saeed bin Suroor.

Simon Crisford, the Godolphin racing manager, said: "She is a good filly who has really thrived here in Dubai and that was a particularly good performance under her penalty.

"We may consider Super Saturday but the fillies and mares in North America later in the year would be an option."

Of Igugu, De Kock said: "We knew she would need a run and she was involved in a pretty fast early pace so she ran well enough. She will be back."

The trainer and jockey were completing doubles having combined with Con Artist to win the preceding 1,900m Tapeta handicap, while Unbridled Ocean won the one mile Tapeta handicap.

The five year old was never far off the pace with stable jockey Richard Mullen riding for trainer Satish Seemar.

Earlier, Rakha landed the Group 2 Bani Yas, sponsored by Swaidan Trading's Heavy Equipment Division. The 1,400m Tapeta opener was the only Purebred Arabian race on the card.

Ahmed Ajtebi was aboard for the trainer Majed Al Jahouri and the owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed as connections registered yet another big race success in a sphere they have dominated this season, breaking the track record in the process.

A delighted Al Jahouri said: "It has been an excellent season and I am so grateful to Sheikh Mansour for sending me such nice horses to change."

The concluding 1,000m turf handicap, the Al Naboodah Construction Group Trophy, was won by Dux Scholar, providing both the trainer Seth Benzel and jockey Khamzat Ulubaev with their first UAE winners.



The sprinters take centre stage at Jebel Ali on Friday afternoon with old rivals and course specialists Russian Rock and Kilt Rock clashing again in the 1,000m prep race for the Listed Jebel Ali Sprint coming in two weeks.

Trained by Musabah Al Muhairi, Russian Rock won both this prep and the Sprint itself last year, while his old adversary Russian Rock was third in the latter having blown the start in the prep.

The pair clash for a sixth time with the Doug Watson-trained Kilt Rock yet to finish in front of his nemesis.

Russian Rock has won four of their previous clashes.

Sholaan, trained on the track by Dhruba Selvaratnam, looks the best of the rest on what will be his first outing on dirt but he reportedly works well on the surface.





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