ISSUE 820 16th November 2023 DRC PICK 7 FORM INSIDE MUSABBEH’S PRESTIGIOUS CARTIER AWARD FOR DUAL GROUP 1 WINNING MOSTAHDAF 500 UAE WINNERS EMIRATES RACING AUTHORITY HONOURS 2022-23 WINNERS SEE PAGE 10 MAGNIFICENT MEYDAN MILESTONE
To book a nomination, contact Will Wright: +44 (0)7787 422901 | [email protected] | Discover more about the Shadwell stallion roster on our website shadwellstud.com THE HIGHEST-RATED TURF HORSE IN THE WORLD FOR A DECADE The best on turf since Frankel OFFICIAL RATING: 135 6 brilliant Group 1 victories World Champion turf horse and miler in 2022 CHAMPION OF THE TURF A star-studded debut book, supported by many of the world’s leading breeders AN EXCEPTIONAL FIRST BOOK OF MARES
FROM THE EDITOR adiyat racing plus.com 3 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16th November 2023 — MUSABBEH MILESTONE RECOGNISES THE PAST AS SMULLEN LEGACY LIVES ON ;OL ÄYZ[ Ä_[\YL VM HU L_JP[PUN ZLHZVU H[ 4L`KHU ^HZ JVTTLTVYH[LK PU TVTLU[V\Z MHZOPVU I` Musabbeh Al Mheiri ^OV YLHJOLK [OL V\[Z[HUKPUN SHUKTHYR VM ^PUULYZ ;OL HJOPL]LTLU[ ^HZ UV[ VUS` HU LUKVYZLTLU[ VM (S 4OLPYP»Z NYLH[ ZRPSS HZ H [YHPULY I\[ H [LZ[HTLU[ [V OPZ SVUNL]P[` PU H [V\NO WYVMLZZPVU ^OPJO KLTHUKZ [OL OPNOLZ[ Z[HUKHYKZ [V HJOPL]L Z\Z[HPULK Z\JJLZZ ;OH[ ÄYZ[ ^PUULY IHJR PU T\Z[ ZLLT HU H^M\S SVUN [PTL HNV I\[ [V JHY]L V\[ H JHYLLY IVHZ[PUN H [YHPULY»Z JOHTWPVUZOPW Ä]L .YV\W ^PUZ HUK TVYL [OHU ^PUULYZ KLTHUKZ OPNO TV[P]H[PVU HUK KL[LYTPUH[PVU HUK UV SP[[SL [HSLU[ ZV P[ ^HZ NYLH[ [V ZLL OPT HJOPL]L [OL TPSLZ[VUL VU VUL VM [OL ^VYSK»Z IPNNLZ[ LX\PUL Z[HNLZ >OPSL (S 4OLPYP ^HZ JVSSLJ[PUN [YVWOPLZ MVY OPZ KV\ISL VU [OL VWLUPUN UPNO[ VM 4L`KHU»Z UL^ ZLHZVU :OHK^LSS ^LYL YLJVNUPZLK I` [OL *HY[PLY (^HYKZ Mostahdaf TH` OH]L ILLU YL[PYLK [V OPZ UL^ ]VJH[PVU I\[ OPZ HJOPL]LTLU[Z KPKU»[ LZJHWL [OL UV[PJL VM [OL Q\KNLZ ^OV ZLU[ [OL K\HS .YV\W ^PUULY VɈ [V Z[\K HZ [OL SLHKPUN *HY[PLY 6SKLY /VYZL VM [OL @LHY 5LLKSLZZ [V ZH` PTWYLZZP]L (YJ ^PUULY (JL 0TWHJ[ SPM[LK [OL /VYZL VM [OL @LHY H^HYK HUK Q\Z[PÄHIS` ZV NP]LU OL ^HZ \UILH[LU PU ZP_ Z[HY[Z HUK IVS[LK \W VU [OH[ ÄYZ[ :\UKH` PU 6J[VILY H[ 3VUNJOHTW ;HSRPUN VM H^HYKZ [OL ,TPYH[LZ 9HJPUN (\[OVYP[` Z[HNLK [OL ZLJVUK LKP[PVU VM [OLPY HUU\HS WYPaL NP]PUN H[ [OL THNUPÄJLU[ 4\ZL\T VM ;OL -\[\YL +LZJYPILK HZ HU HYJOP[LJ[\YHS HUK LUNPULLYPUN THY]LS [OL T\ZL\T PZ KLZPNULK [V Z[YHKKSL IV[O [OL WHZ[ HUK [OL M\[\YL ;OL ,9( H^HYKZ JLY[HPUS` LJOVLK [OH[ THU[YH YLJVNUPZPUN [OVZL [OH[ OHK L_JLSSLK SHZ[ ZLHZVU ^OPSL HSZV YL^HYKPUN [OL M\[\YL Z[HYZ VM H ZWVY[ ^OPJO ULLKZ UL^ ISVVK MYLZO PKLHZ HUK LULYN` [V IV[O Z\Y]P]L HUK [OYP]L ;OL ^LSS H[[LUKLK L]LUPUN HSZV MLH[\YLK H ^LSJVTL HWWLHYHUJL MYVT -YHUJLZ *YV^SL` ^PML VM [OL T\JO TPZZLK Pat Smullen ^OV KPLK PU :LW[LTILY MVSSV^PUN H IH[[SL ^P[O WHUJYLH[PJ JHUJLY -YHUJLZ ^HZ PU +\IHP HSVUNZPKL ZVU 7HKK` MVSSV^PUN HU PU]P[L MYVT ZWVUZVYZ 1LILS (SP 9HJLJV\YZL [V WYLZLU[ [OL 7H[ :T\SSLU ,_JLW[PVUHS 9PKL H^HYK [V :HT /P[JOJV[[ 5V Z[YHUNLY [V +\IHP VY SPML H[ 1LILS (SP :T\SSLU YHPZLK TPSSPVUZ MVY JHUJLY JOHYP[PLZ MVSSV^PUN OPZ H^M\S KPHNUVZPZ HUK IY\[HS [YLH[TLU[ H JH\ZL [OH[ -YHUJLZ OHZ \UZ[PU[PUNS` Z\WWVY[LK ZPUJL OLY O\ZIHUK»Z ZHK WHZZPUN ;OH[ HKTPYHISL ^VYR ^PSS NV ZVTL ^H` [V LUZ\YPUN H IL[[LY M\[\YL MVY ZVTL VM [OVZL [OH[ YLJLP]L [OL ZHTL KYLHKM\S KPHNUVZPZ HZ OLY O\ZIHUK ;OLYLMVYL P[ ^HZ WLYOHWZ Ä[[PUN [OLYL ^HZ H JLY[HPU Z`ULYN` VU :\UKH` UPNO[ [OH[ [OL 4\ZL\T VM ;OL -\[\YL WSH`LK OVZ[ [V H ^VUKLYM\S ^VTHU PU[LU[ VU PTWYV]PUN [OL M\[\YLZ VM V[OLYZ – Sam Turner English Editor
adiyat racing plus.com 4 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16th November 2023 Al Mhieri’s opening day double sees him become first Emirati handler to train 500 UAE winners as wins for El Nasseeb and Qareeb crown an historic night. NEWSMAKER 10-11 Emirati conditioner enters elite 500-plus club. THE BIG READ 24-27 Exciting times ahead for RRR Racing, says Muammar Abdullah. COVER 500! Musabbeh reaches stunning milestone at iconic Meydan. Smullen legacy keeps on giving. LETTER FROM THE EDITOR 3
adiyat racing plus.com 5 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16th November 2023 Godolphin News 36-37 Zardozi way too good for the rest in Group 1 Kennedy Oaks. Dubai Racing Carnival 10-21 All the news and views from the opening night of the racing extravaganza at Meydan Racecourse. CARTIER AWARDS 22-23 INTERVIEW: SLATTERY 32-33 AUSTRALIAN REVIEW 38-39 INTERVIEW: ERNST OERTEL 40-41 RACE PREVIEWS 44-49 SHOW JUMPING 50 HOWARD WRIGHT 57 MANAGING EDITOR Taha A Taha ENGLISH EDITOR Sam Turner ASSISTANT EDITOR Duane Fonseca WRITERS Mohammed Omer Khuzaima Al Habeeb Mehiar Elmahi Thamer Abdalla ART DIRECTOR Mohammad Juma DESIGNERS Nadim Ahmed Arif Ahmed Alzarooni Nisar Shaikh Navas Muhammed CREATIVE DIRECTOR Abdulla Khalifa Eng. Mohamed Maher Ismail KV Taha Omar LIBRARY & PHOTOGRAPHERS Ali Juma ADVERTISING/MARKETING [email protected] WEBSITE Osama Shousha PRODUCTION Ashraf Ali Gamal Fouda For editorial, contact: [email protected] EXCLUSIVE: CHRISTOPHE LEMAIRE 28-30 French legend reveals the secrets that make Longines Dubai Sheema Classic winner Equinox special.
Meydan Racecourse. LIVE THE THRILL Join us for an exciting night of horse racing! Experience the atmosphere of thrilling sport with exceptional dining. Come and be a part of the excitement from AED 65 only! Hospitality packages start from AED 295. Book now or call +971 4 327 2110 dubairacingclub.com 10 Nov - 8 Mar DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL
DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing plus.com 7 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16th November 2023 By Sam Turner Sheikh Rashed bin Dalmouk Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Racing Club, has reiterated the desire to “attract the best horses from around the world” to Dubai after welcoming racing back to the iconic Meydan Speaking during a successful season opener on Friday which saw a large crowd enjoy eight races, Sheikh Rashed said: "We are delighted to open the Dubai Racing Club racing season, in its new form, and we look forward to 15 days of racing during the season at Meydan." "The aim of the new amendments is to attract a larger number of horses per race and that target has been achieved today with average field sizes rising from eight horses per race to 11 or 12. This bodes well that the positives of the new program began to appear early." The majority of the Meydan programme has been tweaked to offer greater opportunities for the horse population, but Sheikh Rashed also revealed that the process for reflection and analysis is ongoing. He added: "We tried to provide all the races that the trainers need and suit the existing horses, as well as we sought with the team to close any gaps that existed by developing an integrated program, and because this is the first season, the evaluation of the experience will be ongoing." INCREASE IN PRIZES SHOULD BRING GREATER COMPETITION Despite the reduction in the number of racing days in the season, the Dubai Racing Club have ensured the prize money on offer has undergone a significant increase which should lead to the number of horses participating increasing. Sheikh Rashed continued: "We are targeting high quality, not just the number of races, so our plan was to attract the best horses, and the most important feature of our new programming is that the pathway in front of the horses will be clear from the trial races through to the major races." "Every year we used to invite the best horses around the world to participate in our races, and this year, although it is still early because this is the beginning of the season and there are a few months left for the big races, we have started negotiating to bring the best horses from around the world and give them the opportunity to take the challenge in Dubai." RASHED BIN DALMOOK: OUR GOAL IS TO ATTRACT THE BEST IN THE WORLD SHEIKH RASHED: THE MOST IMPORTANT FEATURE OF OUR NEW PROGRAMMING IS THAT THE PATHWAY IN FRONT OF THE HORSES WILL BE CLEAR FROM THE TRIAL RACES THROUGH TO THE MAJOR RACES.
ERA AWARDS adiyat racing plus.com 8 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16th November 2023 By Sam Turner The Emirates Racing Authority celebrated a magnificent 2022-23 season on Sunday evening at a glittering awards ceremony staged at the iconic Museum of the Future. The ceremony was witnessed, and the winners were crowned by Engineer Mohammed Saeed Al Shehhi, Member of the Board of Directors and Director General of the Authority, Major General Dr. Mohammed Issa Al Adhab, Member of the Board of Directors and Executive Director of the Dubai Racing Club, Mohammed Ahmed Al Harbi, Director General of the Emirates Arabian Horse Association, Mohammed Al Ahmad, Director General of Jebel Ali Racecourse, and Suad Al Serkal. Director of Strategic Communications Department at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. The second edition of the awards night attracted a stellar field with Doug Watson present to collect his Champion Trainer award for the eighth time, while rider Tadgh O’Shea picked up trophy number 11 for another title winning season. O’Shea, who tragically lost his mother during the last campaign, later dedicated the award to her memory and revealed that his mother’s passing acted as motivation to capture yet another title. Also present was Frances Crowley, wife of the much-missed Pat Smullen, who made the journey to Dubai along with son Paddy, to present the Pat Smullen Exceptional Ride Award (Sponsored by JARC) to Sam Hitchcott. ERA AWARDS CEREMONY CROWNS THE PRESENT AND FUTURE STARS Crowley extended her sincere thanks and appreciation to Jebel Ali Racecourse for inviting her to participate in crowning the winner of the award and she also thanked the Emirates Racing Authority for commemorating her husband’s life and career with an award in his name. For his part, Hitchcott was also touched to have received the honour in Smullen’s name. “I was lucky enough to ride against Pat in a number of races and his passing was a great loss for the sport,” he said. “It is a great honour to receive such a prestigious award from Frances and it is wonderful that she is present in person.” Mohammed Al-Ahmad, General Manager of Jebel Ali, commented: “Sponsoring the award comes as a tribute and an appreciation for the 11 JOCKEYS' TITLES FOR TADHG O'SHEA 8TRAINERS' TITLES FOR DOUG WATSON 6OWNERS' TITLES FOR KHALID KHALIFA AL NABOODA Engr. Mohammed Saeed Al Shehhi addresses the audience at the ceremony
ERA AWARDS adiyat racing plus.com 9 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16th November 2023 period that the late Pat Smullen spent at Jebel Ali Stables. “His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was keen that Jebel Ali should sponsor the award.” MARC OF A CHAMPION A strong season in the saddle saw Marcelino Rodrigues crowned Champion Apprentice, while another rising star, Sultan Al Jahoori, captured the award with that title for his work as assistant to his father Majid Al Jahouri. “The ambition is to work harder and remain motivated to reach my aspirations,” he said. “I am learning so much at the moment and hopefully I can then be a trainer in my own right when the time is right.” The efforts of Hamad Al Marar were also recognised by the ERA who voted him best Rising Local Trainer, recognition which will serve as a motivation going forward. “The award doubles my responsibility and commitment to my profession and has added a lot to the horse racing industry in the UAE where it is considered a great incentive for all workers in horse racing,” commented Al Marar. Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda was present to collect the Champion Owner award for the sixth time as well as the Best Stallion Award with AF Albahar (AE), and said that the results promise a strong and lucrative future for the region. The final award went the way of Khalid Al Muhairi who was recognised for his work in the media with the Media Personality Award. EMIRATES RACING AUTHORITY 2022-23 WINNERS Champion Trainer Doug Watson Champion Jockey Tadgh O’Shea Champion Owner Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda Champion Apprentice Marcelino Rodrigues Pat Smullen Exceptional Ride Sam Hitchcott Arabian Champion Stallion AF Albahar (AE) Rising Local Trainer Hamad Al Marar Rising Star Sultan Al Jahoori Best Media Personality Khalid Al Muhairi Winning shot: Emirates Racing Authority and Dubai Racing Club officials with winners of the respective award categories
DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing plus.com 10 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16 th November 2023 By Duane Fonseca Meydan raised a toast to Musabbeh Al Mheiri on the opening night of the Dubai Racing Carnival on Friday when the long-time Emirati trainer provided further proof of his status as one of the true greats of the sport in the UAE by entering the elite 500s club. Al Mheiri, who resides on 501 wins after his Meydan double, joins the extraordinary club headed by Satish Seemar, the former Zabeel Stables boss, who is far ahead of the rest with 857 winners. Al Mheiri is currently fifth on the list and trails second-placed Doug Watson (734) and former trainers Erwan Charpy and Dhruba Selvaratnam on 543 and 534 respectively. Al Mheiri went into the season opener at Meydan on 499 wins, having opened his account at Al Ain where Alhebi scored in a maiden for Purebred Arabians. On the precipice of the milestone, El Nasseeb’s rampant seven-and-a-quarter length success in a juvenile maiden helped his trainer reach 500 before Qareeb’s hard-fought half-length victory later on the card made it 501. Al Mheiri, champion trainer in 2014-15, was clearly over the moon at having hit the 500 marker. “It’s brilliant to have reached the landmark of 500 wins, but it’s all down to the team we have at the stables,” said Al Mheiri, who first scored when Jameel Dancer won a Conditions event at Sharjah on December 31, 1992. “I would like to say a big thank you to everyone involved, the riders, grooms, my assistants that have been part of the operation and the owners that have helped me by putting their trust in me and giving me their horses to train so it’s just all round nice to have got to the mark.” AL MHEIRI'S FAMOUS FIVE Included in that terrific tally are five Group One successes starting with Special Fighter’s victory in the Al Maktoum Challenge R3 in 2016. He added four more subsequently: Dubai Golden Shaheen (2016, Muarrab), Jebel Hatta (2022 & 2023, Alfareeq) and Al Quoz Sprint (2023, Danyah) “It’s nice to have a record, as it gives you the motivation to go on and get more wins and reach even greater heights.” Lauding his former boss, for whom he rode numerous Listed and Group level winners, Antonio Fresu, riding now in the United States, said: “It’s always a pleasure to talk about Musabbeh. I was part of his team for four seasons and he’s always been a pleasure to work with and I am happy to be a part of his success. He’s such a great person and a great trainer and I am really happy he’s been able to reach 500 winners and I really wish him 500 more winners. He totally deserves it.” MUSABBEH AL MHEIRI: IT’S BRILLIANT TO HAVE REACHED THE LANDMARK OF 500 WINS, BUT IT’S ALL DOWN TO THE TEAM WE HAVE AT THE STABLES. A RECORD GIVES YOU THE MOTIVATION TO GO ON AND GET MORE WINS AND REACH EVEN GREATER HEIGHTS. AL MHEIRI JOINS LEAGUE OF THE EXTRAORDINARY Raising the bar: Al Mheiri
DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing plus.com 11 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16 th November 2023 31 YEARS IN TRAINING 49 BEST SEASONAL HAUL (2014-15) 5 GROUP ONE WINNERS 500th WINNER EL NASSEEB (TB, 1200M MAIDEN) 2016 SPECIAL FIGHTER - AL MAKTOUM CHALLENGE R3 2016 MUARRAB - DUBAI GOLDEN SHAHEEN 2022 ALFAREEQ - JEBEL HATTA 2023 ALFAREEQ - JEBEL HATTA 2023 DANYAH - AL QUOZ SPRINT First Winner: Jameel Dancer (TB, 1400m, Cond.) Last Winner (501st): Qareeb (TB, 1900m, Hcp) 500
DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing plus.com 12 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16 th November 2023 By Duane Fonseca A flurry of doubles welcomed the inaugural edition of the Dubai Racing Carnival which began at Meydan Racecourse on Friday - but there was no doubting the headline act. A trio of trainers recorded braces on the eightrace card at Dubai’s marquee racing venue with Bhupat Seemar and Michael Costa among the winners. However, it was Musabbeh Al Mheiri that stole the show courtesy of a landmark double which helped him reach and breach the 500-winner mark in the UAE. The outstanding milestone arrived when the impressive El Nasseeb, made light work of his rivals in the 1200m Emirates Holidays maiden for juveniles under Bernardo Pinheiro. The combination kicked clear in the straight under Pinheiro to win by an extending massive seven-and-a-quarter lengths from the Costatrained Gaassid (Ben Coen). Emirati handler Al Mheiri wasn’t finished there though and completed a memorable night with 501 on the board after two-time course and distance winner Qareeb rallied under a fine ride from Al Moatasem Al Balushi to deny Vasilakos (Bin Harmash/Gabriele Malune) in the closing stages of the Emirates Skywards 1900m handicap (75-95). “It’s brilliant to have reached the landmark of 500 wins, but it’s all down to the team we have at the stables and the riders that have been part of the operation and the owners that have helped me by putting their trust in 501 MUSABBEH AL MHEIRI HIT THE 500-WINNER MARK WITH EL NASSEEB AND FINISHED WITH A 501ST WIN IN THE BAG COURTESY OF QAREEB. LANDMARK 500TH WIN FOR MUSABBEH AS CARNIVAL BEGINS WITH A BANG (Left to right) Mohammed Al Shehhi, Sheikh Rashed Dalmook Al Maktoum and Major General Dr. Mohammed Essa Al Adhab
DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing plus.com 13 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16 th November 2023 RESULTS me and giving me their horses to train so it’s just all round nice to have got to the mark,” a delighted Al Mheiri said. THREE TWO TANGO While three trainers recorded braces, there were also doubles for a pair of owners; Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Touch Gold Racing, while industrious 11time UAE Champion Jockey Tadhg O’Shea also got in on the act. Stealing the headlines among that elite group were the trainerjockey combination representing Zabeel Racing of Seemar and O’Shea, whose double comprised victories in the co-feature events on the Emirates-sponsored card for owners Touch Gold Racing. Touch Gold Racing owned both of Western Symphony, winner of the mile handicap (85105), and Leading Spirit, who bolted up to win the 1200m sprint handicap (80-100). SYMPHONY IN FINE RHYTHM Western Symphony sat off the pace set by Echo Point, who led the field into the straight, and then urged by O’Shea lengthened fully to race to a length-and-a-half victory ahead of the Omani apprentice Qais Al Busaidi driven Seyouff, trained by Costa for Sheikh Ahmed, who closed in late holding off Laasudood (Pat Cosgrave), another Seemar trainee in third. It was much the same from Leading Spirit, who made it two in two for Seemar, O’Shea and Touch Gold Racing in the subsequent 1200m Race 1: AF Yatwy Race 2: EL Nasseeb Race 3: AL Jaddaf Race 4: Meshtri Race 5: Qareeb Race 6: Western Symphony Race 7: Leading Spirit Race 8: Sadeedd El Nasseeb Qareeb Musabbeh Al Mheiri
DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing plus.com 14 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16 th November 2023 handicap where Fast Uno led marginally from O’Shea’s mount in the straight. The pair saw engaged in a stretch duel, before O’Shea encouraged his partner to find more and pull clear by a few lengths. Ahmad bin Harmash’s Magic Petition posed a late threat under Connor Beasley, but Leading Spirit had done enough to see the race through. “He (Western Symphony) jumps and he goes well and he gets the mile well,” O’Shea said. “It was his first race of the season and to be able to compete for the Group 2 Godolphin Mile he needs to progress a bit more, but seven furlongs or a mile is no problem for him.” Beasley and Bin Harmash were left celebrating one of the minor events on the card, the Emirates Sky Cargo 1600m handicap (56-75) in which Al Jaddaf scored by a length-anda-quarter from Al Mheiri’s Aldhaja, the ride of Pinheiro. A further four lengths back in third was recent Sharjah scorer Perfect Balance, trained by Seemar and ridden by O’Shea. Australian conditioner Costa ensured his fine run continued as retained trainer for Sheikh Ahmed, whose bright yellow silks lit up Jebel Ali a fortnight ago with a five-timer. Costa had won five of the six thoroughbred events on that card, and at Meydan, TADHG O'SHEA: TO BE ABLE TO COMPETE FOR THE GROUP 2 GODOLPHIN MILE HE (WESTERN SYMPHONY) NEEDS TO PROGRESS A BIT MORE, BUT SEVEN FURLONGS OR A MILE IS NO PROBLEM. Western Symphony Leading Spirit Zabeel Stables trainer-jockey pair of Bhupat Seemar and Tadhg O'Shea, and a Touch Gold Racing representative on the podium
DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing plus.com 15 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16 th November 2023 Sadeedd Meshtri AF Yatwy and Saif Al Marar (right) where he enjoyed a hat-trick last campaign during his first year at the helm at Jebel Ali, the Queensland native was back on target first in the Arabian Adventures 1600m maiden (3yos) with Meshtri. Partnered by visiting rider James Orman, who rode that five-timer, the duo engaged Seemar’s Nevershow Weakness (O’Shea) in a match race down the straight before prevailing by a half-length. The pair were so dominant, they left the pack a country mile behind with third placed Bin Harmash-trainee Classic Medal finishing a further 24 and three fourths in arrears under Beasley. Costa and Sheikh Ahmed completed their doubles after retained rider Ben Coen won the card-closing emirates.com 1400m handicap (65-85) aboard Sadeedd, who finished with just under a length to spare from Bin Harmash’s Triple Venture, Beasley up. The only Purebred Arabian event on the card, the 1400m Emirates Sky Cargo handicap (095) got the card underway and was won by rookie handler Saif Al Marar’s AF Yatwy, who dug deep under Oscar Chavez to edge AF Layth (Ernst Oertel/Marcelino Rodrigues) by a length. A further length-and-three quarters in arrears was Asmaa for Majed Al Jahoori and Pinheiro. UAE LEADERBOARD JOCKEYS... 8 CONNOR BEASLEY 6 JAMES ORMAN 5 BERNARDO PINHEIRO TRAINERS... 7 MICHAEL COSTA 5 ABDALLAH AL HAMMADI 4 AHMAD BIN HARMASH OWNERS... 7 SHEIKH AHMED BIN RASHID 5 AL AJBAN STABLES 2 MOHAMMED AL SUBOUSI
DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing plus.com 16 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16 th November 2023
DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing plus.com 17 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16 th November 2023
DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing plus.com 18 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16 th November 2023 “ANALYTICS IN SPORT HELP TO MAKE SENSE OF PERFORMANCE” Race analysis without post race data involves, at best informed opinion at worst guesswork. This is because the naked eye can never be as accurate as a stopwatch or a tracker. Analytics in sport help to make sense of actual performance and this is as true in horseracing as it is in football or Formula 1. As another season gets underway at Meydan, the use of data can aid race analysis and the understanding of individual performances. The Turf and Dirt tracks at Meydan require different approaches as racing on the two surfaces takes place at different tempos. Early pace on the dirt is key for horses to adopt a good position out of the kickback, whereas late pace on the turf is key where horses are required to quicken off a slower pace than is usually found on the dirt. The study of sectional times can determine how fast each horse ran through each individual furlong of a race. A good point of reference is to use 12 seconds as being the indication of an evenly-run furlong, although that number would be under 12 seconds in sprints. These sectionals can be used to calculate a Finishing Speed Percentage (FSP) for each horse. The FSP is a calculation based on the final time of the race in comparison to the time taken to complete the final two furlongs. The resulting figure expressed as a percentage tells us whether a horse ran the In a new feature for Adiyat Racing Plus, Racing TV presenter, time analyst and Dubai Racing Club regular, Angus McNae drills down in the data from Friday’s opening fixture at Meydan and finds a juvenile performance of merit. El Nasseeb
DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing plus.com 19 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16 th November 2023 final two furlongs faster or slower than the previous furlongs in the race. Using 100% as being a well rated, evenly run race, it can be deduced that if a horse records a figure of 110% he has finished the race off 10% quicker than he ran the preceding furlongs. This suggests the race was steadily run with horses saving energy for a fast finish. A figure under 100% suggests the race was strongly run with horses slowing down in the final two furlongs compared to earlier in the race, having used their energy reserves early on. The seven thoroughbred races on the Meydan Card last week were all run on the dirt. Dirt racing is attritional because the early tempo is usually fast and horses rarely quicken on the surface. It is often the case that the horse that simply keeps going best while slowing down wins and therefore we can expect FSP’s on or below 100%. What the data can identify are those horses who buck the trend and do something that marks them out as being out of the ordinary and hopefully we can unearth a few this season. As indicated above most of the races this week were quite evenly run with horses ridden prominently strongly favoured. Visually El Nasseeb looked impressive and the data backs that up. The race was not as strongly run as others on the card as evidenced by an FSP of 104.06%, but some mitigation lies in the horses in this race being inexperienced two-year-olds. His finishing split of 23.06s was impressive, the next best on the card being Sadeedd recording 24.08s. Even accounting for saving energy in the early part of a steadily run dirt race, El Nasseeb has to be rated as an impressive winner on debut. He has plenty of speed as evidenced by his final two furlong split and whether he could go further is debatable. Whichever is the case, his performance on Friday stamps him as a horse to keep onside moving forward. DIRT RACING IS ATTRITIONAL BECAUSE THE EARLY TEMPO IS USUALLY FAST AND HORSES RARELY QUICKEN ON THE SURFACE. BELOW IS A TABLE SHOWING THE SEVEN THOROUGHBRED WINNERS AT MEYDAN WITH THEIR FINAL TIME, LAST TWO FURLONG SPLITS AND THE FINISHING SPEED PERCENTAGES TELLING US HOW THE RACE WAS RUN. EL NASSEEB Time: 1:11:99s Final 2F. : 23.06s FSP : 104.06% AL JADDAF Time: 1:39:95s Final 2F. : 25.14s FSP : 99.39% MESHTRI Time: 1.39.08s Final 2F. : 24.17s FSP : 102.48% SADEEDD Time: 1.25.58 Final 2F. : 24.08s FSP : 101.54% LEADING SPIRIT Time: 1.12.52s Final 2F. : 24.09s FSP : 100.35% WESTERN SYMPHONY Time: 1:38:07s Final 2F. : 24.22s FSP : 101.23% QAREEB Time: 2.01.04s Final 2F. : 25.15s FSP : 101.32% 7 WINNERS Sadeedd
DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing plus.com 20 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16 th November 2023 “EL NASSEEB PUT ON A DAZZLING SHOW ON HIS FIRST EVER RACECOURSE APPEARANCE” Four members of the Dubai Racing Club team run their eye over a brilliant opening night of racing at Meydan Racecourse to identify future winners. Pat Comerford - Racecourse Commentator Duane Fonseca - Assistant Editor El Nasseeb was clearly the star act on Meydan’s opening night and made winning look effortless as he pulled clear in the straight to win by seven-and-a-quarter lengths. Musabbeh Al Mheiri will have to plan out the Profitable juvenile’s season tactfully as he points him towards the Classics. Western Symphony overcame a bump at the jump, but stayed on well despite coming under pressure to secure a win for his new owners. The Shamardal gelding is bound to roll along the Godolphin Mile path, but as his jockey claimed after his win on Friday, he has a long way to go before that dream can become a reality. Although I couldn’t agree more, he does look every bit the type because he represents a yard that’s known to get stronger as the weeks tick along. With Meshtri you could simply tell that, despite lacking previous match experience, the Medaglia D’Oro gelding was going to do something special. To come from behind like that on his first-ever start and win the way he did tells us this boy is a gem! Nevershow Weakness also deserves to be applauded for his role in the race. On a night where many horses found themselves winning from forward positions and it seeming harder for those coming from the back, one horse in particular caught the eye, the Fawzi Nass-trained and owned son of Cairo Prince, Legend Of Cannes. After stepping a little slow early, the three-year-old gelding was out the back in the last four or five for a good chunk of the race. That was until he began to weave a path through the field down the straight under the guidance of Adrie de Vries to find himself in the frame, running third, beaten just under two lengths. This was a performance worth noting, a run that would suggest him being competitive and a genuine winning contender next start. In the opening event for Purebred Arabians, I really liked the UAE debut of Asmaa who caught the eye with an encouraging effort. The French recruit stuck to her task gamely in the straight despite being tight for room and she should soon be winning when she stretches out beyond Friday’s 1400m trip.
DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing plus.com 21 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16 th November 2023 Suleiman Altaf - Form Analyst Mehiar Elmahi - Reporter and Form Analyst El Nasseeb put on a dazzling show on his first ever appearance as the 1200m dirt maiden proved a simple task under jockey Bernardo Pinheiro. El Naseeb made light work of his rivals as he crossed the finish line well ahead of his nearest competitor. He looks very smart. Despite falling short by quite a distance behind the leader, Gaassid is surely one to watch for this season as the Michael Costa-trained two-year-old showed a lot of heart during his first appearance. His sire Mendelssohn was no stranger to Meydan either as he won the Group 2 UAE Derby five years ago, the stallion is a good source of sprinters and Gaassid will surely live up to his full potential. After producing a stunning performance 10 months ago at Meydan which saw him put things to bed by over five lengths, Magic Petition simply wasn’t able to edge his rivals in tougher events such as the Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas and the Mahab Al Shimaal. Gelded and returned to action, he managed a hard-earned second after being beaten by a neck in the 1200m handicap but we clearly haven’t seen the last of this three-year-old son of Kentucky Derby runner-up Good Magic. Laasudood took to the dirt really well last week when finishing an eye-catching third over 1600m. Drawn in 13, he had to race without cover throughout and was trapped four wide on the turn which did not help his cause either. Being out of a Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf winning mare Lahudood, it is reasonable to say that a step up in trip might bring about further improvement. With a very generous current official rating of 90, a couple of handicaps could well be within his grasp and who knows, he could be competing in Stakes company by the end of this campaign. Seyouff's Classic campaign was cut short by a setback but on his return last week in the mile feature, it became apparent that he has not lost one bit of the promise he showed last season. Connections will be happy in how he tackled his first assignment against the older horses and with more improvement to come, he is bound to be a serious candidate in the mile division for the remainder of the season. El Nasseeb Western Symphony
CARTIER AWARDS adiyat racing plus.com 22 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16 th November 2023 Mostahdaf Although unsuccessful in the main category, there was compensation for Mostahdaf, since retired to stud by Shadwell, as he was crowned Champion Older Horse for trainers John and Thady Gosden.
CARTIER AWARDS adiyat racing plus.com 23 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16 th November 2023 Stunning Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Ace Impact fought off stiff competition to be crowned Horse of the Year at the recent 2023 Cartier Racing Awards. The unbeaten son of Cracksman, a winner of all six of his races, was challenged for the award by four-time Group 1 winner Paddington, dual Derby winner Auguste Rodin and Shadwell flagbearer Mostahdaf. Although unsuccessful in the main category, there was compensation for Mostahdaf, since retired to stud by Shadwell, as he was crowned champion older horse for trainers John and Thady Gosden. There was also success on a glittering evening for Tahiyra who scooped the three-year-old filly award, despite being beaten by the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Mawj in the 1,000 Guineas. The enigmatic, but supremely talented Shaquille captured the Sprint title, while Trueshan, winner of the Stayers award in 2021, repeated the feat with his late season victories at Doncaster and Longchamp recognised by the panel. Unsurprisingly, Aidan O’Brien won both juvenile categories with the indomitable City Of Troy awarded the champion two-year-old colt prize and fellow Ballydoyle youngster, Opera Singer, earning recognition as the best two-year-old filly in training. The two juvenile awards were a further endorsement, if any was needed, that their sire Justify is sure to make a sizeable impact on next season’s Classics and beyond. ARC HERO MAKES AN IMPACT AS MOSTAHDAF EARNS RECOGNITION CARTIER AWARDS Ace Impact Cartier Horse of the Year Ace Impact Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt Tahiyra Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly Mostahdaf Cartier Older Horse Shaquille Cartier Sprinter Trueshan Cartier Stayer City Of Troy Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt Opera Singer Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly Jeff Smith Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit Shadwell's Angus Gold
THE BIG READ / MUAMMAR ABDULLAH adiyat racing plus.com 24 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16 th November 2023 By Sam Turner These are exciting times for RRR Racing. The operation owned by Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi is enjoying real momentum on the track with its 18-strong team, while a talented crop of broodmares are producing the stars of the future in Kentucky. In an exclusive interview, Muammar Abdullah, racing manager to Sheikh Rashid, gives Adiyat Racing Plus readers the low down on stars like Isolate, Switzerland and Clapton and outlines the vision RRR have for the future. ST: Thank you for your time Muammar, welcome. MA: Hi Sam, it is always a pleasure to speak to AR+, and it’s exciting to look forward to the new season here in the UAE with you. ST: Before we chat about some of your headline makers, could you quickly explain how RRR operate and what are your visions? MA: We have various horses, so at the start of every season the plan is to have young horses which can be raised step by step from their time as a yearling or from the Breeze Ups until they hopefully reach the level that you have planned for them. It is virtually impossible to buy horses from America which are at the top of the tree as they often have stud careers planned or are simply unbuyable. So, we must identify the horses with potential that haven’t reached the top. This is how we buy our horses and, thankfully, we have enjoyed a lot of success doing things that way with the likes of Second Summer, Isolate, Sound Money, Rawy, Logo Hunter etc . . . Now we are breeding from some of the mares that used to run in our colours so when they are retired, they go to Kentucky, and we breed from them. ST: The breeding side of the operation seems a really exciting development, will we see the fruits of your labour on the track soon? MA: Yes, the young horses have already started to come through the system and we have some classy mares back in Kentucky which are producing lovely looking youngsters. One such example is Rayya who was second in the UAE Guineas before she went on to win the UAE Oaks when trained by Doug Watson in 2018. She was also good enough to finish second in the UAE Derby to Mendelssohn. We ran her in America, but she picked up a small injury, so it was wise to breed from her. RRR BRIMMING WITH CONFIDENCE AHEAD OF NEW SEASON MUAMMAR ABDULLAH: YOUNG HORSES (BRED BY US) HAVE ALREADY STARTED TO COME THROUGH THE SYSTEM AND WE HAVE SOME CLASSY MARES BACK IN KENTUCKY WHICH ARE PRODUCING LOVELY LOOKING YOUNGSTERS FOR US. Eyeing big targets: Muammar Abdullah
THE BIG READ / MUAMMAR ABDULLAH adiyat racing plus.com 25 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16 th November 2023 We have a filly by Quality Road and she had a colt from Into Mischief. She also now has a colt by Speightstown so we have three nice foals from her to look forward to. ST: I notice that you picked up a trophy on the opening day of Jebel Ali’s season when a horse in very familiar colours won, can you tell us more? MA: We have some nice horses for the new season and, one of those, Rayig has already made his first start a winning one for Sheikh Humaid who is the son of Sheikh Rashid. Rayig wore the new silks that were gifted by Abdullah Buhaleeba and were previously worn by Shamardal. He had given them to Sheikh Rashed as a gift, so it was very lucky and winning with the first runner gives you a boost for the upcoming season! ST: Doug (Watson) has clearly been a brilliant trainer for you, but you have also enjoyed great success with a number of other trainers - how do you decide which ones should look after your horses? MA: My main job is to see the strength of each trainer and I discuss it with Sheikh Rashid. We decide which trainer is best with sprinters or perhaps middle-distance types, so it depends on the horses. We may see a horse, evaluate the form and perhaps purchase them, then we discuss and ask, ‘Does he suit the training programme of that particular trainer?’ We discuss it with the boss, and we decide which trainer to give the horse to. We have around 18 horses in training with four different trainers – the main one is Doug Watson, and we also have horses with Musabbeh Al Mheiri, Bhupat Seemar and Julio Olascoaga. American trainer Chad Summers has also joined the team. ST: You mentioned earlier that buying at 1 GROUP 1 WIN: DUBAI GOLDEN SHAHEEN (2022:SWITZERLAND) 2 GRADE/GROUP 2 WINS: LUKAS CLASSIC STAKES (2023: CLAPTON), GODOLPHIN MILE (2023 ISOLATE) 3 GROUP 3 WINS: MAHAB AL SHIMAAL (2023: SOUND MONEY), DUBAWI STAKES (2021 AND 2022: SWITZERLAND) RRR Racing's owner Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi (centre) celebrates Isolate's success in the 2023 Group 2 Godolphin Mile
THE BIG READ / MUAMMAR ABDULLAH adiyat racing plus.com 26 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16 th November 2023 the top level is virtually impossible. Without giving away too many secrets, how do you manage to source your future winners? MA: So, we have to identify the horses with potential that haven’t reached the top which involves a lot of hard work and research. My son, Abdullah, is also involved in the process as he is a very talented boy and has been mad on horses since the age of eight. You can ask him about any horse running in Europe and America and he will tell you about his performance, about his pedigree, the result – he’s my dictionary! He has good eyes. He says, ‘Dad, this is a good horse, you can watch him’ and invariably he is right. I really appreciate the trust that Sheikh Rashid has in me, and he is aware of every single step. I give him a full report on how a horse is progressing, and we then make a decision – it’s teamwork. ST: That teamwork has led to you having an exciting crop of contenders for some of the high-quality races run here in the Middle East. Perhaps it is time you told AR+ readers of your plans for Isolate, Switzerland and Clapton. MA: It would be my pleasure Sam. SWITZERLAND He is a special horse to the Sheikh, to me, to the whole team. We bought him because of his pedigree, but when we bought him here with Steve Asmussen, he didn’t show his best. So, the key was to keep him here and we gelded him at six. When he ran over 1400m he was very good, but when he used to run, he would stop inside the final 100m. So, one time we ran him over 1200m in a Listed race, he was slowly away and had the whole field in front of him. He then came to the straight and shot past all of his rivals to win by nearly 10 lengths (beating Gladiator King) very impressively. The key was that we now knew how to ride him. We have always had big faith in him, and he repaid us when winning the Dubai Golden Shaheen in 2022 very impressively. Last year was so frustrating to finish second (in the Golden Shaheen) by such a small margin, but we were very proud of him. He has been an incredible horse for us and he’s back in training for us as a nine-year-old. He’s a happy horse. He’s full of himself and we are looking forward to a good season with him. He will have his first gallop next week and we take it easy with him. He will tell us when he is ready – he is the type that will show us. At the start of his training, he is a little bit cheeky, but as he gets into his work, he comes alive and becomes very alert and focused. He’s nine years old, but he has a big heart and is very talented. He is a very professional horse, for a sprinter he likes to do things his own way, he walks by himself and even in the saddling area he is so quiet and so professional, until he gets in the gate! ISOLATE Is one of the horses from the team that I love the most. Since day one when we bought him, we had very high hopes for him, and he has never let us down. He started his career very consistently and every trainer would love to have a horse like Isolate because of his temperament, character and his professionalism – he is such a nice horse to deal with. Even when we had a bunch of new MUAMMAR ABDULLAH: WE HAVE ALWAYS HAD BIG FAITH IN SWITZERLAND, AND HE REPAID US WHEN WINNING THE DUBAI GOLDEN SHAHEEN IN 2022 VERY IMPRESSIVELY. Switzerland Rayig (right)
THE BIG READ / MUAMMAR ABDULLAH adiyat racing plus.com 27 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16 th November 2023 horses which came into the group, Sheikh Rashid would ask me and my son who our favourite horse was, and we would always answer Isolate. Me and my son disagree on many things, but one thing we do agree on is Isolate! In the morning, he does everything correctly and the big challenge for us was stretching him out to a mile in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile. Tyler Gaffalione told my son that he wanted to ride him and, although Pat Dobbs had first choice, he chose to ride Prince Eiji for Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum. We knew Isolate was the best chance of the night for us as we knew he stays and has a lovely long stride, plus he was quick from the gates, so the race was perfect for him. He was very impressive that day. He will do his first piece of work at Meydan this week and we will then hopefully aim for the Maktoum Challenge Round 1 before heading out to the Saudi Cup. If he handles the 1800m out there then we will talk to the boss and consider the Dubai World Cup or come back to the 1600m for the Godolphin Mile once more. Isolate is so versatile that you could start him over 1200m as a prep, put him over 1400m or run him at a mile – his greatest attribute is his consistency, and he will always give you his best performance. CLAPTON We bought him two months ago and he hasn’t had a proper break for 26 months. It’s like he’s had 26 races in a row, so it has been really hard for him. We bought him and shipped him to Chad (Summers) and he ran with great credit to finish fourth in a Grade 1 at Saratoga not long after joining Chad. We then took him to the Lukas Stakes, a Grade 2 at Churchill Downs, and he was very impressive to win that day under Christian Torres, staying on strongly to win. That victory got him a ticket to the Breeders’ Cup and, although he wasn’t disgraced, that wasn’t his true running as he was a tired horse. He has since been at the farm and has enjoyed a nice three-week break before we’ll ship him here to Dubai on the 15th January. Hopefully, you’re going to see him in the Maktoum Challenge Round 2 before going to the Dubai World Cup. Those are the two races for him. His best trip is 2000m and, although he is a slow starter, he doesn’t mind kickback, he just needs a strong pace where there is plenty of speed at the beginning of the race as he is a very good finisher. I’m really looking forward to seeing him over 1900m in the Maktoum Challenge, then we’ll skip Saudi Arabia and concentrate on the Dubai World Cup. RRR'S PICK THREE... SWITZERLAND... IMPRESSIVE WINNER OF THE 2022 DUBAI GOLDEN SHAHEEN IS SET TO TARGET SPRINTS. ISOLATE... HOPEFULLY AIM FOR THE MAKTOUM CHALLENGE R1 BEFORE HEADING TO THE SAUDI CUP. CLAPTON... RRR ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING HIM OVER 1900M IN THE MAKTOUM CHALLENGE. Isolate Clapton
INTERVIEW / CHRISTOPHE LEMAIRE adiyat racing plus.com 28 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16 th November 2023 FOR SCIENTISTS, EQUINOX IS THE TIME WHEN THE SUN CROSSES THE EARTH’S EQUATOR. FOR YOGIS, EQUINOX IS THE DAY OF REBIRTH AND RENEWAL. FOR HORSE RACING LOVERS, EQUINOX IS THE SYMBOL OF WORLD RECORDS. AND FOR CHRISTOPHE LEMAIRE, WHO IS THE MAN ON BOARD THE WORLD’S HIGHEST RATED RACEHORSE, EQUINOX STANDS FOR ONE OF THE BIGGEST THRILLS IN HIS CAREER. 'FROM THE START EQUINOX FOUND IT VERY EASY' In an AR+ exclusive, Christophe Lemaire tells Liz Price the components which make the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic winning Japanese superstar so special.
INTERVIEW / CHRISTOPHE LEMAIRE adiyat racing plus.com 29 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16 th November 2023 CHRISTOPHE LEMAIRE: I ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT HE WOULD BE A PROPER GROUP 1 HORSE. FROM THE START, HE FOUND EVERYTHING VERY EASY. HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A VERY EASY RIDE. Sporting a jockey cam, the world was able to get a good impression of what it means to cover the 2000m Grade 1 Tenno Sho in 1m55.20s, but was it just an illusion or was it really that fast? “Oh yes,” Lemaire smiles. “That was truly awesome.” The French jockey who is going for his sixth Japanese Championship title this year, has been riding the now four-year-old Equinox from the very beginning. Yet, even though he knew straight away that he was sitting on an exceptional horse, he could have never imagined that he would one day become a world record breaker. “I always thought that he would be a proper Group 1 horse,” he recalls. “From the start, he found everything very easy. He would travel easily in a race and he quickened just as easily. And he was incredibly easy to handle in a race, he could adapt to everything from the start. “He has always been a very easy ride. However, I couldn’t have guessed that he would become such a flamboyant Group 1 winner. What he did in the Tenno Sho last year and then this year again and also his performance in Dubai, it’s just incredible.” Equinox is already revered the world over as one of the best horses of the century, even though the son of Kitasan Black and Chateau Blanche currently has “only” five Group 1 victories under his belt, which is still a fair cry from Almond Eye who won nine Group 1 races under Christophe Lemaire. “I think he will be as famous as Almond Eye in the future. They actually have enjoyed a similar career as Almond Eye also won in Dubai, which certainly strengthened her reputation. Both dominated their generations, but obviously, Equinox is a colt and is the highest rated horse in the world, which makes him famous. But Almond Eye won nine Group 1 races, which is a record for a horse in Japan. She won the Triple Crown, two Tenno Sho and two Japan Cups, so Equinox still has a way to go but he has definitely made a big impact on the international scene.” JAPAN CUP NEXT Following his record breaking run in this year’s Tenno Sho in October, the Tetsuya Kimura trained four-year-old is now preparing himself for his first Japan Cup that takes place on 26 November at Tokyo. It goes without saying that he is the big favourite for this 2400m race and while his jockey is not feeling any particular pressure, he says: “This is test, as he is going to run against the three-year-old Liberty Island for the first time. Liberty Island is the Japanese champion filly who has won four Group 1 races this season and has dominated her generation. Flying Frenchman: Christophe Lemaire
INTERVIEW / CHRISTOPHE LEMAIRE adiyat racing plus.com 30 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16 th November 2023 CHRISTOPHE LEMAIRE: WE DON’T KNOW HIS LIMITATIONS EITHER. HE IS REACHING HIS PEAK IN TERMS OF MATURITY THERE IS NO DOUBT. “She will carry 53 kilos while he will carry 58 kilos. That’s five kilos difference, which is quite a lot. She has a lot of speed and we know she stays, so this is a new challenge, as we don’t know her limitations.” No, but then do we know Equinox’s limitations? Christophe Lemaire starts laughing: “You are right, we don’t know his limitations either. He is reaching his peak in terms of maturity there is no doubt. He is more relaxed in his races, more experienced. In the past, he needed more time between his races and this is the first time that he runs so quickly after his last start. “So we shall see. Last time out, it was probably his best performance but he wasn’t even challenged. Hopefully, he won’t be challenged this time either.” Christophe Lemaire might respect the opposition but he doesn’t seem too worried. He is confident that his mount will give his best and after finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic with Japanese raider Derma Sotogake, who will be aimed at the Dubai World Cup next March, he knows he is in great form when he concludes: “I’d rather be on the favourite than not. He gave me an unbelievable ride in the Tenno Sho and I don’t see any reason why he couldn’t do that again.” Almond Eye holds the record for running the 2018 Japan Cup in 2m20.60s. It will be interesting to see if that record still stands after this year’s Japan Cup. Absolute brilliance: Lemaire returns aboard Equinox after winning the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan Racecourse
JENNIFER LAWRENCE MINI DOLCEVITA
INTERVIEW / ANDY SLATTERY adiyat racing plus.com 32 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 820 Thursday 16 th November 2023 By Donn McClean My Eyes Adore You jumped well out of the stalls and Andy Slattery just let her roll. Just one win on her cv in 16 attempts before she went to Naas in the middle of October, but still, her rider had every confidence in her, he was sure that she was well up to winning a Listed race. “You should see her work at home,” he insisted. Slattery swiftly found her rhythm in front and kept her towards the near side on the best of the ground. He sat still for as long as he could and, as they raced past the three-furlong marker, he couldn't see them but, one by one, his rivals started to come off the bridle in behind him. They were well inside the two-furlong pole when he felt a horse loom up on his left and he could wait no longer. He got a little lower in the saddle, gave his filly a squeeze, and she willingly picked up. He switched his hands and waved his whip, and she picked up again. It is a tough old pull up the hill to the winning line at Naas on heavy ground, but My Eyes Adore You relished all of it. Fozzy Stack’s filly came away from her rivals inside the final 100m, just punched out by her rider all the way to the winning line, where she had four lengths in hand of her closest pursuer. “I was delighted for the filly,” says Andy Slattery now. “She deserved her win in a Listed race, she is such a talented filly. I was delighted for Fozzy, and for the owners, Paul Shanahan and Craig Bernick, they have always been very good to me.” He thought that he had another few weeks left riding in SLATTERY EAGER TO MAKE THE MOST OF HIS DUBAI DESTINATION Ireland, roll into the final embers of the Irish turf flat season and then set sail for Dubai, but things happen, and plans change. That’s a jockey’s life for you. A routine morning on the gallops, routine stalls work when a horse reared and he hit the top bar of the stalls, fracturing his vertebrae. “I was a bit worried at the time that my plans for Dubai might be in trouble. You don’t know how your body is going to react to these things, but thankfully, I was quick to recover.” The recovery wasn’t all plain sailing mind you. It is not easy to sleep with a fractured T6, and progress was slow for a little while. But Andy Slattery is young, and he’s fit and he’s healthy and, with fastidious exercising and physiotherapy, he’s back, one hundred per cent and ready to go again, excited about heading to Dubai again. “I went to Dubai with our breeze-up horses in 2022,” he says, “and I loved the place. I was back there last year where I was with Charlie Appleby for six weeks and that was brilliant. Charlie Appleby is such a gentleman, he was so good to me, and I had a great experience. It’s brilliant to get the opportunity to go back to Dubai again now, to get the opportunity with Bhupat and Caroline.” Bhupat is Bhupat Seemar, champion trainer in the UAE in his first year in 2021-22, and runner-up to Doug Watson last year. Caroline is Bhupat’s wife, née Joyce, a neighbour of Slattery’s when he was growing up. “Caroline asked me if I would be interested in going to Dubai after I won the apprentices’ Andy Slattery ANDY SLATTERY: THE LATE PAT SMULLEN, WHO WAS A GREAT MENTOR TO ME, ALWAYS IMPRESSED UPON ME THE IMPORTANCE OF RIDING ABROAD, AND HE LOVED DUBAI.