ISSUE 832 8th February 2024 RIVALRY RENEWED DRC PICK 7 FORM INSIDE SWING VOTE BIDS TO FOLLOW ALGIERS’ ROUTE IN JA MILE FOUR MORE FOR APPLEBY AS GODOLPHIN DOMINATE CARNIVAL PONNTOS AND BILHAYL GO HEAD-TO-HEAD AGAIN IN JEBEL ALI SPRINT AS COLOUR UP HUNTS BONUS
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 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 — TRAGIC DEATHS AN UNTIMELY REMINDER OF JOCKEY SACRIFICES The perilous nature of being a jockey was never more in evidence last weekend with the shattering news of two tragic deaths in Italy and England. The loss of Polish rider Dominik Pastuszka, 35, following a horror fall at Pisa three days beforehand, and the subsequent death at a Kent point-to-point course of Keagan Kirby, a 25-year-old rider and valued member of staff for multiple UK Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls, has left racing shocked and served as an untimely reminder that a jockey’s bravery should never be taken for granted or questioned. With more than a hint of black humour, riders will often quip that theirs is the only job ‘where an ambulance follows us at work’. Both riders were Jump jockeys, but those that operate on the Flat can be just as vulnerable, take the case of Graham Lee who suffered life changing injuries from a fall at Newcastle last November. A Grand National-winning rider in 2004, the 48-year-old was last week pictured for the first time since the accident sitting in a wheelchair smiling alongside Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning trainer Henrietta Knight. The fall left the popular Irishman with an unstable cervical fracture which caused damage to his spinal cord when he was unseated from sprinter Ben Macaui. He required surgery four days after the fall to stabilise the fractures and further protect his spinal cord, while a tracheostomy was performed to improve communication and make Lee more comfortable. Having jumped thousands of fences during a successful National Hunt career, the freak accident was beyond cruel, but at least Lee has the racing family’s undivided support while a Just Giving page, established by his daughter Amy, has raised approaching £180,000 for the Injured Jockeys’ Fund. Heartbreakingly, Pastuszka leaves a wife and an 18-month old daughter, while Kirby’s family and vast circle friends are also struggling to come to terms with the loss of a much loved family member and valued colleague. Only last Friday at Meydan, Saffie Osborne escaped serious injury when her mount, Laser Guided, became agitated and ducked down in the stalls, causing the 21-year-old to take evasive action. Thankfully, there was no long-term damage and, rather typically given a jockey’s mentality, she was back riding winners 24 hours later. History, however, tells us that such accidents can have very different results and we must never take for granted the men and women who put their lives on the line day in and day out for our entertainment. — Sam Turner English Editor
adiyat racing plus.com 4 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 Trail blazing Ponntos, the first Czech Republic Carnival winner, tackles old rival Bilhayl and Emirates Sprint Series bonus hunter Colour Up as a maximum field head to post for an intriguing renewal of the featured Listed Jebel Ali Sprint. IN FOCUS 31-33 Impressive O’Brien making giant strides with lessons learned. THE BIG READ 18-21 Saffie Osborne is looking to make her mark in the UAE. COVER RIVALRIES RENEWED! Ertijaal winner and runner-up duel once more at Jebel Ali Don’t take a jockey’s bravery for granted. LETTER FROM THE EDITOR 3 COVER PHOTO: ABDULLAH KHALIFA
adiyat racing plus.com 5 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 Dubai Racing Carnival 14-16 A competitive ninth fixture analysed on the clock. Meydan Review 7-13 Appleby captures four more turf events and an eighth renewal of the Dubai Millennium Stakes as Warren Point stars. MEYDAN PREVIEW 22-25 AL AIN REVIEW 34-35 SHOW JUMPING 36-38 POLO 40-41 COLUMNISTS 42-47 THE LAST WORD 48 FACES AT THE RACES 52-53 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 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] JEBEL ALI PREVIEW 26-29 Style and sprinters the order of the day on the ‘hill’ as Jebel Ali hosts a day of fashion and racing.
6 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing plus.com DPWORLD HAS BEEN A HUGE SUPPORTER OF SPORTS IN DUBAI, GIVING THEIR BACKING TO RACING AS WELL AS GOLF. WE VALUE THEIR SUPPORT THROUGHOUT OUR SEASON AND HOPE THAT THEIR TEAM AND THEIR GUESTS HAVE A WONDERFUL EVENING WITH US ON FRIDAY — DR. AL ADHAB. DP World is set to sponsor an exciting Dubai Racing Carnival meeting at Meydan Racecourse this Friday. A leading provider of end-to-end logistics solutions, DP World began as a local port operator in 1972 and has since evolved into global logistics powerhouse with operations in more than 73 countries. A consistent supporter of racing in Dubai, DP World also backs the prestigious ß$5million Dubai Turf at the Dubai World Cup meeting. The company returns to Meydan Racecourse for a competitive night of Carnival racing, with nine races divided between the dirt and turf tracks. One of the features is the Dubai Trophy for three-year-olds run over 1200m, which in 2023 was won by the George Bougheytrained Al Dasim, beating stablemate Perdika. There is plenty of international involvement in the event with the Ralph Beckett trainee, Starlust, topping the official ratings. The son of Zoustar was a highly creditable TROPHY FEATURES FASCINATING REMATCH AS STARLUST BIDS TO GO ONE BETTER second to Star Of Mystery on his Meydan debut and the form of that course and distance conditions affair has been boosted by the winner’s impressive subsequent victory at Dubai’s iconic racecourse. The Charlie Appleby-trained Great Truth and Myconian, fourth and fifth to Star Of Mystery, will look to reverse placings with Starlust. Welcoming DP World back to Meydan Racecourse, Major General Dr. Mohammed Essa Al Adhab, Executive Director of Dubai Racing Club, said: “DP World has been a huge supporter of sports in Dubai, giving their backing to racing as well as golf. “We value their support throughout our season and hope that their team and their guests have a wonderful evening with us on Friday. We are looking forward to a fascinating day of international action, including a few pointers towards the Dubai World Cup meeting.” Racing begins at 5:30pm. Tickets can be purchased on the door, or in advance via Dubairacingclub.com.
7 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing plus.com POINT LEAVES IT LATE AS APPLEBY EXTENDS FINE DUBAI MILLENNIUM RUN By Sam Turner Warren Point brought up a ‘magnificent seven’ in the Dubai Millennium Stakes for trainer Charlie Appleby as his domination of the Group 3 feature extended to a seventh consecutive success at the exasperation of British counterpart Jamie Osborne. Victory for the grandson of Dubai Millennium was anything but straightforward as rider Mickael Barzalona found his path blocked when trying to launch a challenge with 400m to run. The gaps finally appeared for the French rider who then galvanised his mount inside the final 100m to run down the Osbornetrained Sean (Adrie de Vries) and Solid Stone (Saffie Osborne) in the shadows of the post for a last-gasp short-head win. The defeat was an agonising reverse for Osborne to take, while victory handed Appleby a seventh successive Meydan turf victory this Carnival. “He’s a horse, as we know, that has got an engine. We saw him win in Bahrain last year before being touched off in Qatar in their big race there,” said a relieved Appleby. “He went to America and lost his way there to be honest so full credit to the team here as they’ve got him back enjoying life. “Mickael (Barzalona) rode for luck down the inside and thankfully he had the horse underneath him to get there on the line. “It’s great for the horse and for Mickael and it was also lovely for us all to win another Dubai Millennium Stakes. ‘NO IMMEDIATE PLANS’ “I’m not sure where we’ll go next with him, perhaps we might step back up to 12 furlongs for a race like the City Of Gold; that could be a decent option for him, but there’s no immediate plan.” Appleby also reflected on a lacklustre effort from the strongly-fancied New London who looked to have every chance with 200m to run before his challenge flattened out. “New London is becoming a little disappointing if I’m honest. I could see what William (Buick) was wanting to do by coming wider out so that he didn’t have to get involved in a battle down the straight. “Maybe stepping up in trip to a mile and a half or even beyond might be the answer.” HE WENT TO AMERICA AND LOST HIS WAY THERE TO BE HONEST SO FULL CREDIT TO THE TEAM HERE AS THEY’VE GOT HIM BACK ENJOYING LIFE — CHARLIE APPLEBY. Warren Point (left)
8 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing plus.com Charlie Appleby seems to have made winning four races at Meydan Racecourse a habit after securing a second-consecutive quartet of wins a week after signing off with his first batch of four winners. With Appleby trainees proving all-conquering on turf, the grass is always going to be greener for Godolphin. Here’s a look at the octet that has Appleby purring as the business end of the season approaches. GREEN, GREEN GRASS OF HOME! LEGEND OF TIME Race Won: Jumeirah Guineas MISCHIEF MAGIC Race Won: Dubai Sprint SISKANY Race Won: Al Khail Trophy Status Status Status Distance Distance Distance Surface Surface Surface Winning Time Winning Time Winning Time Conditions Listed Listed 1600m 1200m 2810m Turf Turf Turf 1:36.11 1:08.96 2:56.74 Track Record Time 1:34.28 Track Record Time 1:07.61 Track Record Time 2:53.78 Next Likely Race Listed Jumeirah Classic (Mar 2) Next Likely Race G3 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint (Mar 2) Next Likely Race G3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy (Feb 23)
9 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing plus.com CINDERELLA’S DREAM Jumeirah Fillies’ Classic WARREN POINT Race Won: Dubai Millennium Stakes MYSTERIOUS NIGHT Race Won: Al Fahidi Fort STAR OF MYSTERY Race Won: Blue Point Sprint MEASURED TIME Race Won: Jebel Hatta Status Status Status Status Status Distance Distance Distance Distance Distance Surface Surface Surface Surface Surface Winning Time Winning Time Winning Time Winning Time Winning Time Conditions Group 3 Group 2 Group 2 Group 1 1400m 2000m 1400m 1000m 1800m Turf Turf Turf Turf Turf 1:23.27 2:01.19 1:21.73 56.14 1:47.89 Track Record Time 1:21:46 Track Record Time 1:59.20 Track Record Time 1:21.46 Track Record Time 55.90 Track Record Time 1:45.52 Next Likely Race Jumeirah 1000 Guineas (Mar 2) Next Likely Race G2 Singspiel Stakes (Feb 23) Next Likely Race G3 Ras Al Khor (Mar 2) Next Likely Race G3 Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint (Mar 2) Next Likely Race G2 Singspiel Stakes (Feb 23)
10 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing plus.com Cinderella’s Dream
11 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing plus.com APPLEBY HAS UNEARTHED A BUNCH OF CLASSIC HOPEFULS FOR GODOLPHIN By Duane Fonseca Charlie Appleby seems to have made winning four races at Meydan Racecourse a happy habit after securing a second-consecutive quartet of wins a week after signing off with his first batch of four winners. The Appleby juggernaut continued to roll on Friday night with his latest haul, which included a sensational eighth success in the Group 3 Dubai Millennium Stakes, the feature event of the programme, where second string Warren Point scored in the hands of Mickael Barzalona, taking the trainer’s tally to 15 for the season. It was a third win on the card for Appleby, who had earlier secured a brace with first choice jockey William Buick and completed his scoring late with the same rider. WILL THE GUINEAS SHOE FIT CINDERELLA? Appleby’s 12th win for the season came in the Jumeirah Fillies’ Classic (1400m, turf) which saw Cinderella’s Dream taking her unbeaten run to three with a sublime effort along the outside. Held up early in the straight, the Shamardal filly snatched the lead from William Knight’s Frost At Dawn (Jim Crowley) and powered home to win by two-and-three-quarters of a length from teammate and stable companion Beautiful Love, the ride of Barzalona. With Frost At Dawn a further length-and-threequarters back in third. Last year’s race was won by Saeed bin Suroor’s Mawj, who went on to bigger things on her return to Britain where she won the 1000 Guineas for Godolphin beating the Irish wondermare Tahiyra. “She was there for me the whole way,” said Buick. “She’s still learning on the job as she’d only had two previous starts. It was a good performance from a filly who I think is progressive. “Mawj won this last year and went on to win the (Qipco 1000) Guineas, so she’s in good company and I wouldn’t want to rule anything out.” MAWJ WON THIS LAST YEAR AND WENT ON TO WIN THE (QIPCO 1000) GUINEAS, SO SHE’S IN GOOD COMPANY AND I WOULDN’T WANT TO RULE ANYTHING OUT — WILLIAM BUICK.
12 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing plus.com A DASH OF WINNING MAGIC Buick and Appleby secured a second after 2022 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint winner Mischief Magic rocketed past the finish in the 1200m Listed Dubai Sprint, with Michael Costa’s Yonafis (Ben Coen) closing the gap to place three quarters of a length back in second. Nicolas Caullery’s French raider Batwan finished well but was only good enough for a third, a further two-and-a-half lengths back in arrears. Buick added: “He had a good run here over five furlongs a month or so ago and stepping back up to six furlongs (1200metres) really suited him. I’m delighted we’ve got one on the board with him.” CAN TIME BECOME A CLASSIC LEGEND FOR THE BLUES? Appleby’s fourth was also supplied by Buick, the rider completing a treble in the process when nailing the Jumeirah Guineas aboard Legend Of Time, a comfortable winner of the Conditions affair on a 1600m turf strip. Buick was a picture of calm and let Francis-Henri Graffard’s Shamrock Glitter (Crowley) cruise before reeling him in typical late fashion with a sweeping drive that saw the Sea The Stars colt fly to a two length win over Fawzi Nass’ Athan, who did well to finish second under Adrie de Vries, the pair four-and-a-quarter lengths clear of Shamrock Glitter. “He’s a horse who has only improved,” said Buick. “We always thought he would improve for stepping up to a mile and I think he’ll be even more comfortable over 10 furlongs [2000m]. “Let’s hope he can make all those necessary steps to put himself in that (Derby) picture. That’s what these horses are there to do.” RESULTS Race 1: Game Time Race 2: Elyabri Race 3: Cinderella's Dream Race 4: Mayaadeen Race 5: Mischief Magic Race 6: Warren Point Race 7: My Dubawi Race 8: Legend Of Time Race 9: Royal Dubai Mayaadeen (right) holding on ahead of Maplewood
13 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing plus.com Game Time Royal Dubai Mischief Magic My Dubawi The card-ending Lincoln Corsair 70-95 handicap (1800m, turf) witnessed Lucie Botti claim a first Dubai success with Royal Dubai (Pat Dobbs) who sat off the pace and pounced close to home to win by two lengths from Ahmad bin Harmash’s Ursa Minor the ride of Connor Beasley. Doug Watson-trained Wanees was a further threequarters of a length back in third under Sam Hitchcott. Botti said: “I’m delighted. It doesn’t happen very often that a trainer is so privileged to have their first winner at Meydan. At the moment the plan will be February 23rd, the (G2) Singspiel Stakes, and then we’ll take it from there.” BITTAR’S GAME TIME GETS THE BALL ROLLING The evening got underway with Jaber Bittar’s Al Reef Stable Game Time winning the 1600m Lincoln 0-80 handicap, the only Purebred Arabian event on the card, under Sandro Paiva by a length-and-a-quarter from Naajeeb (Eric Lemartinel/Jules Mobian), with Musabbeh Al Mheiri and Bernardo Pinheiro striking next as Elyabri upset the odds to win the 1900m Lincoln Presidential (NW for 3yos) by two-and-a-half lengths from Tactical Bound, trained by Nass and ridden by De Vries. Doug Watson and Jim Crowley celebrated victory in the Lincoln (56-75) handicap after the Shadwell-owned Mayaadeen only just managed to hold on in the 1400m affair by a shorthead from the fast finishing Maplewood (Osama Refai/Dobbs). Not to be left behin, Bhupat Seemar’s My Dubawi (Tadhg O’Shea) clinched the 1400m Lincoln (75-95) handicap by a cosy threeand-a-half lengths from Desert Safari (Salem bin Ghadayer/Barzalona). I’M DELIGHTED. IT DOESN’T HAPPEN VERY OFTEN THAT A TRAINER IS SO PRIVILEGED TO HAVE THEIR FIRST WINNER AT MEYDAN. AT THE MOMENT THE PLAN WILL BE THE SINGSPIEL STAKES, AND THEN WE’LL TAKE IT FROM THERE — LUCIE BOTTI.
14 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing plus.com WARREN BACK ON POINT AS APPLEBY DOMINATES ON TURF ONCE AGAIN By Angus McNae Charlie Appleby won every race on the Turf on Festive Friday and he again dominated proceedings this week with four more winners. There were five races on the turf and four on the dirt with the feature race being the Group 3 Dubai Millenium Stakes. This week, the data is most striking with regards the turf races where fast finishes were the order of the day and the most taking performance on the card came in the Jumeirah Fillies Classic. Jumeirah Fillies Classic: Cinderella’s Dream This filly was making her Meydan debut after winning twice in the UK. Both of those wins came in modest contests that were steadily run and clearly this was a much bigger task for her on her three-year-old debut. She was ridden with a great deal of confidence by William Buick who was content to sit off the pace and utilize her sharp turn of foot. A free going sort, the waiting tactics were probably employed to encourage her to settle. Cinderella’s Dream produced the fastest final two furlongs on the card clocking 22.04s and, given that the turf races this week all produced fast finishes, to be the quickest on just her third career start was impressive. She generated a Finishing Speed Percentage (FSP) of 107.95% meaning that her final two furlongs were 7.95% quicker than the previous five. That she was able to quicken so well from the back of the field in a race that wasn’t run at a strong gallop is testament to her ability. Credit must also go to the runner-up Beautiful Love who was given a similar ride to the winner but could not match her sharp change of gear. Dubai Sprint: Mischief Magic This classy sprinter had been fourth to Ponntos in the 1000m Dubai Dash on Festive Friday where he seemed to find the trip too CINDERELLA’S DREAM (PICTURED BELOW) PRODUCED THE FASTEST FINAL TWO FURLONGS ON THE CARD CLOCKING 22.04s.
15 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing plus.com sharp for him. The step up to 1200m here was much more to his liking. This was an evenly run sprint with no excuses for any horse on account of pace or position. Mischief Magic recorded an FSP of 102.44% which tells us he did not quicken quite as sharply as it looked like he did. A good example of the data painting a slightly different picture to the one created by the visuals. His final two furlongs were recorded as 22.24s which was a slower split than recorded by Cinderella’s dream, Warren Point and Royal Dubai. Mischief Magic is clearly not a horse with a blinding turn of foot, but he is a sprinter who likes to close down pacesetters off a decent gallop. That’s exactly what he did here and future success will depend on him encountering strongly-run races. If this race had been more strongly run he would have been even more impressive than he was. A good run in the Al Quoz Sprint on World Cup night should not be discounted. Jumeirah Guineas: Legend Of Time On his Meydan debut in the Guineas Trial over a furlong shorter, Legend Of Time impressed with the speed he displayed. That race was steadily run and he flew home through the final quarter mile recording a sectional of 22.1s. WARREN POINT’S FINAL QUARTER MILE ACHIEVED WHILE HAVING TO BE SWITCHED TO GET A RUN WAS AN IMPRESSIVE 22.27s. ONLY CINDERELLA’S DREAM WAS ABLE TO FINISH FASTER ON THE DAY ALBEIT OVER 1400M COMPARED TO THE 2000M TRIP HERE. This race provided a completely different test for him. It was over a furlong further and was run at a completely different tempo. Nonetheless, Legend Of Time was just as impressive and is clearly a very useful three-year-old. He was not able to flash a 22.1s quarter mile here due to the early gallop being stronger and more energy sapping. He came home in even fractions, recording 24.15s to win easily. This was less a test of raw speed, but more one of resilience where the ability to sustain a gallop was essential. When he won the Guineas Trial he recorded an FSP of 107.49% and at the time that was one of the fastest finishes of the season. On this occasion he recorded an FSP of 99.49% meaning that he completed the final two furlongs 0.51% slower than he ran the rest of the race. The contrast with the Trial could not be more stark and highlights this horse’s versatility and adaptability. He clearly does not require a particular set of circumstances to produce his best. Dubai Millenium Stakes: Warren Point Charlie Appleby won this with his lesser fancied runner, Warren Point, whose late surge edged him ahead right on the line. His final quarter mile achieved while having to be switched to get a run was an impressive 22.27s. Only Cinderella’s Dream was able to finish faster on the day albeit over 1400m compared to the 2000m trip here. The gallop was dictated by Solid Stone and the pace was a steady one allowing the race to turn into something of a sprint off the home turn. This race was a case of those who can sprint best prevail wherever they were positioned in the early part of the race. Solid Stone had the run of the race and committed first but, both Warren Point and Sean, who finished second, sprinted home from the back of the field. The winner recording an FSP of 108.84%, his final quarter mile being 8.84% quicker than he ran the rest of the race.
16 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL adiyat racing plus.com CHIEF OF NAVY ENSURED A STRONG TEMPO WITH MAYAADEEN HEADING UP THE PURSUERS. HE MANAGED TO WIN WHILE COMING HOME IN A SLOW 26.21S WITH HIS FINAL QUARTER MILE 4.59% SLOWER THAN HIS PREVIOUS FIVE FURLONGS. THIS WAS A PROPER ATTRITIONAL DIRT RACE. This was the highest FSP recorded on the card telling us that this was the most steadily run race on the day. There were no excuses for New London on the day. He was closer to the steady gallop than the first and second but lacked their turn of foot. Two of the four dirt races were notable on the day in that they were strongly run. Details below; Lincoln Dirt Handicap: Mayaadeen Chief of Navy ensured a strong tempo with Mayaadeen heading up the pursuers. He managed to win while coming home in a slow 26.21s with his final quarter mile 4.59% slower than his previous five furlongs. This was a proper attritional dirt race. Lincoln Dirt handicap: My Dubawi Another attritional dirt contest with My Dubawi making all the running at a strong tempo to have his rivals in trouble. Making all at a good pace has been a sure fire way to success at Meydan over the years and My Dubawi took no prisoners here, aided by not being pestered on the lead. His final quarter mile was recorded as 25.31s with an FSP of 95.75%. In essence, he was as tired as Mayaadeen in the last two furlongs but, courtesy of the gallop he set, his rivals were even more tired than him and no horse could close him down. For context, the full data from the meeting is below. FSP (%) Final 400m (seconds) Game Time* 101.17 27.36 Elyabri 101.39 25.02 Cinderella’s Dream 107.95 22.04 Mayaadeen 95.41 26.21 Mischief Magic 102.44 22.24 Warren Point 108.84 22.27 My Dubawi 95.75 25.31 Legend Of Time 99.49 24.15 Royal Dubai 109.81 22.31 Mayaadeen (right)
17 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 adiyat racing plus.com UNEXPOSED ADIYAT EYECATCHERS Meydan and Al Ain took centre stage in the UAE last weekend and our four pundits have once again sifted through the races run to uncover future winners. — Duane Fonseca Assistant Editor ATHAN (Meydan, February 2nd) Is the glass half full or half empty? Hard to say which way the Athan camp see his performances this season, but the last two displays on turf behind Legend Of Time in both the Guineas Trial and the main event have been luckless but leave plenty of reason for optimism. Victory for the Orpen colt merely seems a matter of needing the stars to align. — Suleiman Altaf Form Analyst BEAUTIFUL LOVE (Meydan, February 2nd) The race was run to suit the stablemate of Beautiful Love, Cinderella's Dream, and the 1400m trip arguably wasn’t a sufficient enough test for her Godolphin ally. However, the Siyouni filly acquitted herself well on her UAE bow in the Jumeirah Fillies Classic and she could well be one to fear in the UAE 1000 Guineas when tackling 1600m once again. — Mehiar Elmahi Reporter and Form Analyst ALWARRY (Al Ain, February 3rd) Alwarry proved his win at Meydan last month was no fluke. The four-year-old came out swinging once again at Al Ain under Tadgh O’Shea to give trainer Ahmed Al Mehairbi his seventh winner of the season. This cosy win over 1800m should ready him for a Group assignment in the near future and his progress should come as no surprise given his father, No Risk Al Maury, is a leading sire. — Pat Comerford ERA Racecourse Commentator TAPIT’STALEOFVERVE (Meydan, February 2nd) This son of Tapit enjoyed a great first day at the races and the experience won’t be lost on him. The race probably didn’t pan out as connections would have ideally liked as the front-runners went off hard and their colt ended up being quite a long way back. However, he made up a lot of ground in the closing stages and is definitely one to follow for trainer Doug Watson. Alwarry EYECATCHERS
18 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 THE BIG READ / SAFFIE OSBORNE adiyat racing plus.com FIT-AGAIN OSBORNE INTENT ON MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME STARTING WITH DUBAI By Sam Turner Watching Saffie Osborne limp back to the Meydan weighing room, saddle in hand, helmet removed and sporting an expression comprising pain and frustration in equal measure, one is reminded of the pitfalls of being a professional jockey. A nasty stalls incident before the closing handicap on Friday night saw the 21-year-old unshipped from intended mount Laser Guided who became dangerously agitated and fractious in the gates. For a rider just returning from injury, it was a worrying incident. While a chance to ride that elusive Carnival success eluded Osborne on Friday, she wasted little time bouncing back with a winner at Wolverhampton just 24 hours later, her second victory since resuming race riding following a three-month spell on the sidelines. In an exclusive interview with Sam Turner for Adiyat Racing Plus, Osborne discusses her hopes for the Carnival, the year ahead and her relationship with father Jamie, himself a top-class rider and successful trainer.
19 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 THE BIG READ / SAFFIE OSBORNE adiyat racing plus.com Saffie, you had a brilliant year last year, which was sadly cut short by injury following a fall last October. How hard was the rehabilitation? Last year was brilliant and it was a fairly transformative year for my career. For the first year out of my claim, it was vital things went well and I was very lucky that I enjoyed a lot of support from a number of trainers. It was the first year I was on Tony Hind’s books, and everyone knows his reputation. He’s an unbelievable agent and has done wonders for my career. It was extremely frustrating to get injured when I did as I’d had 10 winners in the fortnight before I got injured so the timing was annoying. As rehab goes, I found it unbelievably frustrating as I haven’t been very lucky with injuries. I’ve been riding for four years, and I think I’ve been sidelined with injury four or five times already. I’ve had broken bones before, but I found this latest injury far more frustrating. Ligament damage issues take longer to resolve, and it was hard to put a date on a comeback. I was out for three months in total, and it was great to finally get back on track. With 70 winners and some high-profile successes like Metier (Chester Cup) and Random Harvest (Valiant Stakes) last year – do you regard your most satisfying achievement the volume of winners or the major wins? At the start of the year, I would definitely have taken that season, but then halfway through, with the way the season was transpiring, I was really disappointed not to reach the totals of winners I had set myself because of injury. I got so much satisfaction out of wins for Metier and Random Harvest as well as Tregony in Stakes races. Metier was always a horse I had a huge amount of faith in, and the Chester Cup was a target of his ever since he won the November Handicap the previous autumn. He gave me a massive thrill that day as he came from a long way back from a poor draw and I think he was the first horse to really put my career on the map. That win really helped kick-start the season. SAFFIE OSBORNE: IT WAS EXTREMELY FRUSTRATING TO GET INJURED WHEN I DID AS I’D HAD 10 WINNERS IN THE FORTNIGHT BEFORE SO THE TIMING WAS ANNOYING. Metier
20 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 THE BIG READ / SAFFIE OSBORNE adiyat racing plus.com You arguably gave Random Harvest, a big outsider, one of the best rides of any jockey at Royal Ascot, given attempting to make all the running on the straight track over a mile is an extremely difficult task. Was it galling to be nabbed close to home or did you still take some pride from the ride? Random Harvest getting nabbed on the line at Royal Ascot was gutting, I can’t lie! On one hand you are delighted with how she ran and, even though she was a big price, I didn’t think she deserved to be as she had run a really good race on Derby Day a few weeks beforehand. It is a hard thing to do, to try and make all on the straight mile at Ascot, but tactically I look back on the ride and think there is nothing I would do differently. No one remembers who finished second apart from yourself and those involved with the horse, so it was very frustrating, especially as she had finished second in a handicap the year before at the Royal meeting. Places like Royal Ascot and the Meydan Carnival are venues that jockeys dream of riding winners, and I have seemed to come agonisingly close at both; so, I hope that’s a situation I can rectify soon. One of the main attributes of top jockeys, apart from outstanding talent, is being able to manage disappointment. How do you manage to cope with the bad days? Most top jockeys have a strike rate between 10 and 20 per cent, so it is the way of things that there are days of disappointment. That is the amazing thing about this sport, fortunes can change for the better of the worse extremely quickly with rides every half an hour. In the early days, I probably didn’t cope with disappointment particularly well – it’s something that I have really worked on myself after the first couple of years riding. I’d say it’s very easy to start doubting yourself, but last year was a massive turning point in my career as it was the first year, I rode with confidence truly believed in what I was doing. It was probably also the first year when I felt I was good enough to ride on the bigger stages and I hoped that showed in my riding. It is annoying if you are beaten on a well-fancied horse in a big race as they are the opportunities where you can showcase your ability, but thankfully I’m enjoying a few more opportunities in that type of race thanks to the likes of Ed Walker, dad and a number of other trainers who have given me those opportunities. Is it a help or a hindrance that your father, Jamie, was also a top-class rider in his time? We discuss horses of his, of course we do, and he would be the first to say if I’d given a horse a good or a bad ride, but we have never ever really had a cross word over one of my rides because he knows when I know if I’ve done something wrong or made a mistake. He knows I’ll be the first person to come back and hold my hands up and say ‘I should have done that differently’ as I think it’s extremely important in any relationships with trainers that you admit if you’ve made a mistake. Dad had an unbelievable career in the saddle, but he has always been very keen for me to pave my own path, which I think has been amazing as we have such MOST TOP JOCKEYS HAVE A STRIKE RATE BETWEEN 10 AND 20 PER CENT, SO IT IS THE WAY OF THINGS THAT THERE ARE DAYS OF DISAPPOINTMENT — SAFFIE OSBORNE. Random Harvest
21 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 THE BIG READ / SAFFIE OSBORNE adiyat racing plus.com a good working relationship. My jockey coach is ex-jockey George Baker who has helped me since my first ride, and I would still speak to him on a daily basis. George was unbelievably astute from a tactical perspective when he was riding and it’s so beneficial to bounce ideas of someone who you really trust and value their opinion. Your dad clearly loves the Middle East and has been bringing horses out here for years. I’m guessing you don’t need a lot of persuasion to join him!” I absolutely love racing in the Middle East. I grew up watching Dad have plenty of runners and winners out here, especially the likes of Toast Of New York winning on World Cup night, which was incredibly special. Dad would say he was the horse that transformed his career and Dubai is an unbelievable place to ride, let alone ride winners. I’ve been agonisingly close to riding a winner in Dubai and it has been very special to watch Dad train winners here, so I’d like to join that club! It would be marvelous to see a female rider enjoy success at the Carnival for the first time – what would it mean to you to become the first? It isn’t something I’ve thought a great deal about, but it would be cool to ride a winner out here full stop, no matter what my gender. Hopefully, dad’s team of horses and any of the other trainers I ride for will provide some live opportunities. It was obviously very frustrating on a personal level to miss the ride on Ouzo, albeit I was delighted for Dad and the team. Adrie de Vries gave him an unbelievable ride that night and hopefully I can do the same going forward. Are there any horses in particular that you are looking forward to riding in 2024? All the horses we have out here are worth keeping onside for this year moving forward and Barrett Racing have really invested in some lovely horses this autumn which is very exciting. I am very fortunate to ride for Ed Walker and he has an extremely strong hand coming into this year with plenty of talented horses which should improve, but I guess if I had to nail my colours to the mast then Emaraaty Ana would be appropriate as he ran really well on his Meydan comeback in the Blue Point Sprint and won’t mind going up to 1200m in the near future. 167 WINNERS RIDDEN SO FAR BY SAFFIE IN BRITAIN 2 GROUP LEVEL WINS GAINED IN THE PROCESS 23 RIDES AT DUBAI’S ICONIC MEYDAN RACECOURSE 4SECONDS 3THIRDS Daddy's Girl: Saffie and her trainer father Jamie Osborne
PREVIEW / MEYDAN adiyat racing plus.com 22 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 NO MYSTERY AS STARLUST CHASES GOLD DUST IN INTRIGUING DUBAI TROPHY By Suleiman Altaf It was a battle between the stars in the Al Wasl Stakes, the twin of this week’s Dubai Trophy, when Godolphin’s superstar filly Star Of Mystery, subsequently winner of the Group 2 Blue Point Sprint, overhauled Ralph Beckett’s Starlust in the 1200m contest. Prior to hitting the Dubai shores, the Mrs Fitriani Hay-owned Zoustar colt had already cemented himself as a leading sprinter of his generation with an eye-catching third in last November’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint having finished fifth in his native’s Group 1 Middle Park Stakes behind the unbeaten Vendeek. With a run under his belt and allowed more time for acclimatisation, anything less than gold should come as a surprise for Starlust who searches for compensation in Friday’s AED350,000 feature event. There is no Star Of Mystery to tackle this time around, but Charlie Appleby has ensured his participation through Great Truth and he relies on the gelding to reverse form with the principals on his fourth-placed finish in the aforementioned Al Wasl Stakes where he was almost four lengths adrift of Starlust and two lengths adrift of the re-opposing Seven Questions. The lightly raced Appleby trainee is bound to build on that outing given he was checked for room in the straight and looked to have SEVEN QUESTIONS AND STARLUST WILL MEET IN THE DUBAI TROPHY
PREVIEW / MEYDAN adiyat racing plus.com 23 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 THE APPLEBY JUGGERNAUGHT HAS NEVER LOOKED SO ROBUST AND, HAVING CAPTURED EIGHT OF THE LAST NINE RACES ON THE GRASS TRACK, DISMISS HIS LATEST CHANCE AT YOUR OWN PERIL. needed the run, his first since finishing fourth in the Group 2 Superlative Stakes behind City Of Troy back in July of last year. The Appleby juggernaut on the turf has never looked so robust and, having captured eight of the last nine races on the grass at the track, dismiss his latest chance at your own peril. The yard may have been quiet this campaign, but it is too early to write-off a Saeed bin Suroor winner at Meydan. He dispatches the highly regarded Olympic Candle who is seeking to extend his winning streak to three. The only blemish on his race record is his third-placed effort on debut where he finished behind subsequent Listed winner and Group 1 Futurity Stakes fifth Dancing Gemini. That form is useful as are his two subsequent victorious outings. On ratings he has a bit to find, but on raw ability the sky is the limit for this son of Profitable. Trainer George Scott is no stranger to winning in Dubai with his first runner Another Batt also yielding his first Meydan winner back in 2019. His sole representative at this year’s Carnival is Victorious’ Seven Questions. Third in the same heavily advertised Al Wasl Stakes, the Kodiac gelding has so far been aggressively campaigned having pitched into Group company in the interim. Just finishing out-of-the-money in that assignment, this may, comparatively, prove an easier asking, but one could also argue it may have taken plenty out of him. Others to consider include Bombay Bazaar, scratched on vet’s advice at the start last time, for local trainer Bhupat Seemar and the overseas pair of Myconian, trained by Amy Murphy,and Salvuccio, a George Boughey pupil, both of whom acquitted themselves well on their local debut. FRENCH CONNECTIONS HAVE SIGHTS SET ON HANDICAP The other highlight on the usual nine-race card is the Vazirabad Handicap, named after the legendary three-time Dubai Gold Cup winning French stayer. Connections of Kahraman, hailing from the same European country, will no doubt be keen to bag success in the race named after his French compatriot. The four-year-old, trained by Nicolas Caullery, didn't cut a great deal of ice in the handicap won by Webinar and it is hard to envisage how he turns the tables here, especially given the way the race winner travelled throughout that day. Unsurpringly, Godolphin are mob-handed, once again. Bin Suroor has declared three – Military March, the mount of Hector Al Nafir (right) Nevershow Weakness
PREVIEW / MEYDAN adiyat racing plus.com 24 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 Ruling Dynasty Lahresh GRADUATING AT THE FOURTH TIME OF ASKING, NEVERSHOW WEAKNESS LEAPED A WHOPPING 11LBS IN RATINGS FOLLOWING AN EFFORTLESS VICTORY WHEN UPPED IN TRIP LATEST. Crouch, White Wolf, and Global Heat, ridden by Connor Beasley, while Appleby is represented by Al Nafir (Mickael Barzalona) and Ruling Dynasty appearing to be the first string, going by William Buick’s selection. Military March was thoroughly disappointing on his return while the same can be said for Global Heat who contested the Al Khail Trophy. That perhaps leaves White Wolf as the yard’s leading hope, albeit he is yet to really threaten his rivals in six starts since finishing runnerup in a rain soaked Zabeel Turf around this time last year. Meanwhile, the Appleby pair faced off in the Dubai Racing Club Classic at Festive Friday, run over the same distance as the Vazirabad Handicap, but were well-beaten into sixth and tenth respectively, with the Simon and Ed Crisford’s returning Scottish Anthem securing a much more reliable second in the same contest. The latter’s form also ties in well as he was last seen in the Al Khail Trophy finishing sixth, albeit the race was not run to suit him as he was held up last for much of the contest in a race run at a pedestrian pace for the first 2000m. It was also his first attempt at staying trips and he stuck to his task fairly well in the straight, albeit he couldn't match the finishing kick of Siskany who clocked the fastest closing sectional of the night. LOFTY RISE MAY NOT BE NEVERSHOW’S WEAKNESS Graduating at the fourth time of asking, Nevershow Weakness leaped a whopping 11lbs in ratings following an effortless victory when upped in trip latest. The opposition may have been weak, but he made a mockery of his generous 85 rating there and could have completed the 2000m trip even quicker had Tadgh O’Shea not eased him from a furlong out. His
PREVIEW / MEYDAN adiyat racing plus.com 25 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 Ajuste Fiscal (right) SELECTIONS Race 1: Muthabir Race 2: Ezaj Race 3: Auto Bahn Race 4: Mostawaa Race 5: Nevershow Weakness (NAP) Race 6: Starlust Race 7: Scottish Anthem Race 8: Desert Safari Race 9: Al Maysan challengers include Emirati handler Salem bin Ghadayer’s latest recruit Aldous Huxley, an ex-Godolphin trained by the Gosdens. While his last run only came in mid-2022, his career record of 3:1:2 speaks volumes of his potential. Being a full brother to this term’s Listed Dubai Creek Mile scorer Al Nefud, there are minimal doubts regarding his dirt credentials, and he is expected to give a bold showing on his local debut. Course winners Lahresh, Ajuste Fiscal and Go Soldier Go also make into the line-up. COMPETITIVE AFFAIR FOR SOPHOMORES’ CONTEST The win-restricted 1400m dirt event for the sophomores has attracted a competitive field headlined by trainer Julio Olascoaga’s latest import from Argentina Auto Bahn with the inform Mickael Barzalona’s booking looking an inspired move. He won on debut over the same distance in his native Argentina and is considered as an improving sort in the yard which will be seeking for their fifth winner of the term. A son of Asiatic Boy who sported the famous yellow and blue silks of Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum to victory in the UAE Derby back in the day, connections will be hoping the baton can be passed onto his progeny. One that catches the eye as an intriguing entrant is trainer Dominic Ffrench Davis’ Thunder Blue. As his name suggests, he is by Blue Point so leveraging his speed on the dirt could prove a shrewd move by connections. David Egan picks up the ride for Amo Racing. The rest of the card features a similar winrestricted event for the Purebred Arabians over 1600m on the dirt, and four other races, across a range of trips and classes, for the Thoroughbreds.
PREVIEW / JEBEL ALI adiyat racing plus.com 26 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 By Duane Fonseca With two wins in as many starts over a mile up the punishing Jebel Ali surface, Swing Vote (William Buick), jointly-trained by the fatherson combination of Simon and Ed Crisford looks the most likely incumbent for the venue’s biggest race of the season, the Group 3 Jebel Ali Mile. Now, the time has come to prove if the five-year-old Shamardal gelding can indeed justify the hype he’s built up. We think he can. No, we think he will. And not just us, nearly all of the racing junta at Jebel Ali are bound to have him onside after witnessing him account for a posse of strong divisional milers who had proved themselves time and again over the UAE’s most demanding finish. Frankly, it’s hard to look beyond the Crisford trainee in this year’s renewal with his first two performances defying belief, particularly the second, the Prep for this, where it looked like he teased and toyed with the field before putting the race to bed in a matter of strides. Having said that, it might be perfect for this preview to end here. But that’s not how the way things work and even though Swing Vote crushed the field to win by four lengths from In Crowd, who reopposes here like many others from that group, it is imperative for the opposition to be fairly assessed. Swing Vote might have beaten a number of prominent names, but he’s never gone up against a Michael Costa trainee and that changes this Saturday when American import Home Brew (Ben Coen) carries the colours of the home team who last won the race in 2017 with the mighty Forjatt. The five-year-old Street Sense gelding changed ownership and transferred from US trainer Brad Cox’s yard in November 2023 and was seen finishing 10th behind Al Nefud in the Listed Dubai Creek Mile. Having perhaps had little time to acclimatise, he could be excused for that performance, but overhauling Swing Vote will need a gargantuan effort and with the Crisfords’ charge showing little reverence for his rivals, Home Brew’s record of 9:5-1-0 will amount to nothing if his actions don’t speak louder than the numbers. Musabbeh Al Mheiri saddles last year’s Listed Jebel Ali Stakes and subsequent G2 Dubai City of Gold third Daramethos, who was third behind Swing Vote and Salem bin Ghadayer’s In Crowd last time out. The latter also dispatches Tenbury Wells, twice second behind the protagonist this season when lacking both stamina and spirit. Two time winner over the Meydan mile, Al Jaddaf represents the in-form yard of Ahmad bin Harmash, but has little experience of the hill having finished fifth down the chute over 1400m in October 2022 on his only ever start here, while his Emirati compatriot Al Mheiri has another hope in Qareeb, who won over 1950m here on January 27, with the outing almost surely a way of gaining match fitness for next month’s Listed Jebel Ali Stakes. TIME FOR SWING TO CAST HIS JEBEL ALI MILE VOTE SWING VOTE MIGHT HAVE BEATEN A NUMBER OF PROMINENT NAMES, BUT HE’S NEVER GONE UP AGAINST A COSTA TRAINEE AND THAT CHANGES WHEN HE MEETS HOME BREW THIS SATURDAY.
PREVIEW / JEBEL ALI adiyat racing plus.com 27 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 By Sam Turner The final leg of the Emirates Sprint Series is staged on Saturday with Colour Up bidding for the AED 250,000 bonus in the Jebel Ali Sprint sponsored by A.R.M Holding. Trainer Doug Watson may not have the numbers of horses he once had but that isn’t preventing the American handler from landing some of the season’s top prizes, as evidenced by Kabirkhan’s recent Group 1 success at Meydan. The 105-rated Colour Up has already captured a nice pot this season, courtesy of a highly creditable victory in the Second Leg of the Series, the Listed Al Garhoud Sprint back in early December. He endured a tough trip that day, but still boasted the quality to score by a cosy length-and-a-half from runner-up leading Spirit who reopposes here for trainer Bhupat Seemar and rider Tadgh O’Shea, while Magic Petition also ran creditably to take fourth, two-and-a-half lengths adrift of the winner. Two subsequent spins in Group 3 company have seen talented Watson’s son of Mehmas come up a little short behind classy dirt speedsters Tuz and Mouheeb, but a drop in class could work the oracle for a horse which has won his only start over 1000m at the ‘hill’. A terrific renewal also features another head-to-head between Ponntos and Bilhayl who reoppose after a terrific duel in the Listed Ertijaal Dubai Dash before Christmas at Meydan. Ponntos (pictured) left his Czech connections bouncing that day with an exhilarating gateto-wire success in the hands of Antonio Fresu, while Bilhayl stepped up markedly on his previous efforts, which included a smooth comeback win over today’s course and distance. It will be intriguing to see whether this stiff track plays to the strengths of the trail blazing Ponntos on whom Adrie de Vries will no doubt look to execute the ‘jump and run’ tactics which serve him so well. Rawy was ninth in the Ertijaal and eighth behind Tuz at Meydan, but the switch to Jebel Ali last month was the catalyst for an improved showing in the Emirates Airline Cup (1000m) when he easily outpointed his field, including Al Tariq and Story Of Light, to score comprehensively. The son of Frosted was slowly away that day, but that switch in run style looked to produce an improved performance and there looks plenty of pace for him to enjoy a nice tow into a fascinating affair. PONNTOS AND BILHAYL RENEW RIVALRY IN SPRINT PONNTOS LEFT HIS CZECH CONNECTIONS BOUNCING THAT DAY WITH AN EXHILARATING GATE-TO-WIRE SUCCESS IN THE HANDS OF ANTONIO FRESU, WHILE BILHAYL STEPPED UP MARKEDLY ON HIS PREVIOUS EFFORTS.
PREVIEW / JEBEL ALI adiyat racing plus.com 28 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 832 Thursday 8th February 2024 By Duane Fonseca Jebel Ali Racecourse hosts two of its most prized annual contests this Saturday in the form of the Group 3 Jebel Ali Mile and the Listed Jebel Ali Sprint, but, not to be outdone, the undercard is just as intriguing with numerous competitive handicaps and maiden events with the potential to thrill. The afternoon gets underway at the ‘hill’ with the Al Wathba Stallions Cup is sponsored by HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Racing Festival 0-90 handicap (4yo+) over 1400m where Majed Al Jahoori’s joint top-rated Jina’an (Bernardo Pinheiro) looks set to follow up on her massive seven length success in a 1200m maiden here from three weeks ago. Jina’an was clearly the best horse in the race then and this looks very much within her reach, with the biggest threat to the four-year-old daughter of AF Albahar coming from Ibrahim Al Hadhrami’s Rashad Al Wathba (Connor Beasley), triumphant in a C&D maiden here a fortnight ago. With the only Purebred Arabian event completed, the action shifts to the Thoroughbred population with the Al Shafar Investment Stakes, a 1200m maiden for three-year-olds, in which Rashed Bouresly pair Houb Al Wattan (Omar Salas) and Black Mark (Oscar Chavez) both seem capable of shedding their maiden after finishing a wellbeaten second and third behind Elusive Terry two weeks back. Ahmad bin Harmash’s Theeban (Beasley) runs lightest of the eight that go to post with just 55kgs on its back as opposed to the 60.5kgs carried by the rest. That should help the Demarchelier colt, whose best performance in five starts so far at a similar level in a C&D, also two weeks ago. Doug Watson’s unrated Alajdl (Pat Dobbs) was fourth on his debut behind Meshtri over a mile here and the cut back in trip seemed to have helped when fifth at Meydan and if the Candy Ride colt can build on that it could be a case of third time lucky for him. Fawzi Nass’ decision to enter his one time Classic contender El Introvertido alongside the older generation in the 1600m Commercial Bank of Dubai Cup 0-90 handicap takes a lot of weight off his shoulders, literally. What’s more, the Treasure Beach colt is still toprated in a field that includes Mayaadeen, who turned up the winner of a 1400m handicap at Meydan last week for Watson and Jim Crowley. Osama Refai’s fastfinishing Maplewood (Richard Mullen) was a El Introvertido EL INTROVERTIDO PRIMED TO FRANK COURSE FORM AT HANDICAP LEVEL AHMAD BIN HARMASH’S THEEBAN RUNS LIGHTEST OF THE EIGHT THAT GO TO POST WITH JUST 55KGS ON ITS BACK AS OPPOSED TO THE 60.5KGS CARRIED BY THE REST IN THE AL SHAFAR INVESTMENT STAKES.