Issue 840


To book a nomination, contact Will Wright: +44 (0)7787 422901 | [email protected] | Discover more about the Shadwell stallion roster on our website 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 3 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 840 Thursday 4th April 2024 adiyat racing adiyat racing — RECORD BREAKING DWC NIGHT PROVES A TRULY INTERNATIONAL AFFAIR Wasn’t a bad night, was it!? Nine exhilarating races, victories for a staggering eight different international jurisdictions, a spectacular Dubai World Cup victory and, just when you thought the action couldn’t be topped on the track, three Guinness World Records were broken courtesy of a spectacular drone and fireworks show, the like of which those present at Meydan were incredulous to witness. Hopefully, we have done justice to the magnificence of a truly international Dubai World Cup night. Fittingly, the man of the hour Bhupat Seemar features in our final Big Read (p10-13) of the season, and we wish both him and Michael Costa the best of luck as the trainer’s championship goes down to the wire at Abu Dhabi and Al Ain this week. They are locked at 36 winners apiece and their duel provides an intriguing encore following Saturday’s main event. We also have a first-person view of the DWC from Laurel River’s indomitable rider Tadgh O’Shea (p9) who shares his thoughts and emotions from a spell-binding evening for him and his family. Our outstanding photographers have captured the colour and majesty of Saturday’s events and their pictures compliment some superbly in-depth race reviews, written by Marcus Townend, Suleiman Altaf and Duane Fonseca. Finally, with regards to Saturday evening, our thoughts are with Christophe Lemaire who broke his collar bone and two ribs when unshipped from the ill-fated Catnip in the Dubai Turf. We wish both him and Eldar Eldarov a speedy recovery. This 24th and final edition of Adiyat Racing Plus represents a wrap for the magazine, at least in print anyway. Our diligent team will continue to report and showcase brilliant equine stories online and through social media in the forthcoming months until we return for a new UAE season in the autumn. Afford me a small indulgence if you will, but I would like to put on record my gratitude and thanks to all at AR+ who have made my first season in Dubai such a memorable one. Special thanks go to my highly talented assistant editor, Duane Fonseca, who has displayed remarkable patience in helping me navigate my first journalistic role outside of the UK. Thanks also go to Managing Editor Taha Osman for his unstinting guidance and wisdom and to our outstanding design team who have embraced my hair brained ideas, some of which may have actually worked! Thanks to you too, our loyal readers who religiously support AR+ in big numbers on a weekly basis, we hope you have enjoyed the last few months as much as we have enjoyed bringing you the stories and the pictures from a season which thrilled and captivated race fans. Eid Mubarak! — Sam Turner English Editor

4 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 840 Thursday 4th April 2024 adiyat racing adiyat racing Dubai World Cup night turns out to be a truly international affair with horses representing eight different countries winning on the nine race programme, including Laurel River’s stunning gate to wire success in the night’s feature. THE BIG READ 10-13 Dubai World Cup winner Bhupat Seemar on his unbelievable G1 double on World Cup night! DUBAI WORLD CUP ANALYSIS 18-21 Angus McNae on the speed figures posted by the winners during the evening. COVER CHAMPIONS! Zabeel Stables duo are the first locals to win the DWC? Dubai World Cup! Oh what a night! LETTER FROM THE EDITOR 3

5 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 840 Thursday 4th April 2024 adiyat racing adiyat racing Dubai World Cup 6-9 Laurel River thumps his rivals to win the Dubai World Cup with a sparkling frontrunning effort. UAE DERBY REVIEW 28-29 AL QUOZ SPRINT REVIEW 30-31 DUBAI GOLD CUP REVIEW 32-33 GODOLPHIN MILE REVIEW 34-35 KAHAYLA CLASSIC REVIEW 36-37 ABU DHABI PREVIEW 38-39 AL AIN PREVIEW 40-41 COLUMNS 44-50 FACES AT THE RACES 54-55 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 Angela Lewis [email protected] WEBSITE Osama Shousha PRODUCTION Ashraf Ali Gamal Fouda For editorial, contact: [email protected] DUBAI GOLDEN SHAHEEN 26-27 Tuz brings up the first part of a Dubai World Cup night double for Zabeel Stables trainer jockey combination of Bhupat Seemar and Tadhg O’Shea. Dubai Sheema Classic 22-23 Appleby trained Rebel’s Romance just too good for Godolphin in the Turf highlight of the evening.

REVIEW / DUBAI WORLD CUP 6 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 840 Thursday 4th April 2024 adiyat racing SPECTACULAR DUBAI WORLD CUP SUCCESS SEES UNSTOPPABLE SEEMAR AND O’SHEA SHINE By Sam Turner Trainer Bhupat Seemar and Tadgh O’Shea claimed the biggest success of their respective careers as Laurel River spreadeagled his rivals to capture a breathtaking Dubai World Cup triumph. On a truly international evening which saw no less than eight different countries enjoy success on one of the world’s premier equine stages, victory for the Juddmonte owned six-year-old was a fitting finale to a terrific card which also saw Seemar complete a double following the comprehensive victory of Tuz in the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen. While his stablemate made short work of his rivals in the 1200m dirt sprint with a smooth rail run under O’Shea, Laurel River appeared to have a stiffer task from a wide gate in the night’s main event. However, trainer and jockey were determined to remain positive, with their game plan to go forward undeterred despite being allotted stall 12 at Wednesday’s post position draw. And go forward they did. Smartly away, O’Shea soon captured the lead and regular Meydan devotees will know how dangerous the multiple champion jockey can be when allowed to dominate proceedings. Allowed to find a beautiful rhythm, Laurel

REVIEW / DUBAI WORLD CUP 7 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 840 Thursday 4th April 2024 adiyat racing SEEMAR AND O’SHEA WERE DETERMINED TO REMAIN POSITIVE, WITH THEIR GAME PLAN TO GO FORWARD UNDETERRED DESPITE LAUREL RIVER BEING ALLOTTED STALL 12 AT WEDNESDAY’S POST POSITION DRAW. River floated along the back stretch as the race took a familiar shape with old adversaries Ushba Tesoro and Senor Buscador held up in rear, craving a late pace collapse, the like of which they saw in the Saudi Cup. Defunded momentarily moved onto the heels of the Juddmonte pacesetter at halfway, but that pace pressure swiftly took its toll as oneby-one the leader’s rivals dropped by the wayside and came off the bridle. Pre-race favourite Kabirkhan had looked to be in the perfect position to stalk the early speed, but the unrelenting gallop set at the head of affairs by O’Shea on the former Bob Baffert trainee left the Kazakh-owned son of California Chrome wilting as the runners turned out of the back straight. Laurel River was then heading into unknown territory as he turned for home, but his rider’s determination to ride him as if he was a confirmed stayer was born out as he swiftly stretched further and further clear in the straight, allowing his jubilant rider to accept the cheers of the crowd as he strolled to an eight-and-a-half length success. Last year’s winner Ushba Tesoro was carried out on his shield in second, while his Riyadh conqueror Senor Buscador took third. A delighted Seemar, who joined Michael Costa at the top of the trainer’s championship on 36 winners going into the final week of the season, said: “I’m still coming to terms with what’s happened. I think it’ll probably sink in in another day or two. It’s absolutely amazing. Tadhg said this morning, ‘We’re drawn 12, I’m not going to be two-minded about it, I’m going to go forward.’ “He’s got so much natural pace. He comes out of the gate and this is why we ran him over six furlongs (in the Al Shindagha). “Tadhg was able to get some easy fractions and then I saw Defunded coming on his outside but he just kept on going further clear. I expected to see all the closers flying at him but he kept going. “I was a small kid when I was watching these colours winning some of the biggest races in the world. What the late Prince Khalid Abdullah has done for racing is amazing, I couldn’t believe I was going to be training the In a class of his own: Laurel River

REVIEW / DUBAI WORLD CUP 8 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 840 Thursday 4th April 2024 adiyat racing horse for that farm and in those colours. And now to win one of the world’s great races for them is unbelievable.” When Arrogate overcame a world of trouble to win the 2017 Dubai World Cup, many racing fans said it was the best performance in the history of the race, and in a broader sense, one of the best performances ever seen. Seemar and Juddmonte Farms, the same operation that campaigned Arrogate, rerouted the six-year-old to the Dubai World Cup instead: a contest 12 times as valuable, but incrementally more challenging on a few levels, not least the 2000m distance of the race. For O’Shea, the support of his stable and Juddmonte, gave him the confidence to carry out his gameplan. He said: “I’ve been fortunate enough to have had Dubai World Cup night winners but you don’t get many opportunities and I’m going to be forever grateful to Juddmonte for keeping me on the horse, they could use anyone and they’re a worldwide operation that’s really successful. “When he had his first run for the stable we thought he’d disappointed, but we never lost faith. He was explosive last time and I said the other morning to Bhupat, I pulled him aside and said, I’d never ridden a horse with his ability ever. And he’d just done an easy work on his own. “With the dirt you can’t be half-hearted, you have to go forward. If he didn’t stay, he didn’t stay. We were aware of that. The main thing that won the race, it’s easy to say when you win, but I was able to keep filling him up and filling him up.” Another prominent local hope and strong fancy, Kabirkhan, failed to fire with rider Pat Dobbs accepting the situation some way from home. “He was beaten a long way out. I knew leaving the back straight he wasn’t the same horse as before,” said Dobbs. Yuga Kawada, rider of last year’s winner Ushba Tesoro, was already eyeing future targets after steering the defending champion into an honourable second. He said: “He was in good form and he ran his race. It was a good run. We managed to beat Senor Buscador today but the winner was too fast and stayed really well in front. We will be prepared for the Breeders’ Cup and I believe Del Mar will suit him better than Santa Anita.” Todd Fincher, trainer of Saudi Cup winner and third home, Senor Buscador said: “He brings it every time, he ran a really good race. He might have started his run a little early trying to catch Laurel River and maybe that cost us a placing. Hats off to Laurel River, he freaked on everybody there. “We were hoping there would be a little pace in there, but Laurel River is a nice horse and you’re not going to catch a horse like that if he gets loose. That’s what we’re up against, he’s got to have some pace to run at. It’s very rare in a Grade 1 race that there’s no pace, but we are very proud of him.” RESULTS 1. Laurel River (Seemar/O’Shea) 2. Ushba Tesoro (Takagi/Kawada) 3. Senor Buscador (Fincher/Alvarado) HE WAS BEATEN A LONG WAY OUT. I KNEW LEAVING THE BACK STRAIGHT HE WASN’T THE SAME HORSE AS BEFORE — PAT DOBBS ON KABIRKHAN. In the spotlight: Seemar and O’Shea

REVIEW / DUBAI WORLD CUP 9 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 840 Thursday 4th April 2024 adiyat racing Tadgh O’Shea landed the biggest success of his career on Saturday night with a spectacular victory aboard Laurel River in the Dubai World Cup. In an exclusive piece for Adiyat Racing Plus readers, the multiple UAE Champion Jockey explains how he wowed Meydan aboard Bhupat Seemar’s six-year-old. “We knew we were going into the race with a very, very good horse. There were of course a few questions to answer like would he stay the trip? I was under no pressure from Bhupat or Juddmonte on which way to ride the horse so, when you’re allowed to go out and ride the horse the way you want to, then it makes the job an awful lot easier. It was pretty smooth all the way to be honest. We broke well from a wide barrier and gradually came across and, once I got to the lead, I felt like I was slowing it down which the fractions later backed up. He was running a little bit in my hands down the back but turning out of the back straight between the 800m and the 600m, I gave him a little click and he really responded so I said to myself ‘Oh Tadgh, just sit for a couple of hundred metres now’ as I couldn’t believe how well I was travelling in a Dubai World Cup. It all felt very surreal. I gave him another squeeze at the 400m mark and took a look at the big screen and I simply couldn’t believe how far I was in front; it really was the stuff of dreams. Crossing the line, I just couldn’t contain the celebrations as it has been a long journey since I came over here 21 years ago. It truly was an amazing night and one that will live long in the memory. It was then made even more special when His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid asked my son Darragh if he rode and when he said yes, His Highness asked him if he would be his apprentice! It was one of those amazing days and a true life changing moment. To ride a horse like that was special and hats off to Juddmonte for allowing me to keep the ride. They could have used any jockey in the world to ride in a Dubai World Cup and there were some amazing jockeys sitting in the weighing room so for them to keep the faith and allow me to ride the horse was something I will always be grateful for.” ‘A LIFE CHANGING MOMENT AND ONE THAT WILL LIVE LONG IN THE MEMORY’


THE BIG READ / BHUPAT SEEMAR 11 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 840 Thursday 4th April 2024 adiyat racing adiyat racing By Sam Turner Meeting up with man-of-the-moment Bhupat Seemar on Monday morning, one is left with the distinct impression he is still coming to terms with the magnificent events of Saturday evening. A magical Meydan occasion concluded with fireworks on the track from Laurel River in the Dubai World Cup before 4000 drones took to the skies to illuminate the Dubai night. Seemar could well have accompanied them given he was understandably riding on Cloud 9. We chat on the lawn at the picturesque Zabeel Stables, with the spectacular Dubai World Cup in close proximity alongside Tuz’s silverware for winning the G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen, a glittering double on the night which took Seemar level with Michael Costa at the head of the UAE trainer’s championship heading into the final two meetings. I refrain from asking if the golden masterpiece made it into the marital bedroom on Saturday night as seems the way whenever elite sportsmen or women capture a revered trophy these days. It is, however, patently obvious that Seemar is incredulous the trophy is within his touch and the grasp of dozens of his loyal staff who eagerly and voraciously enjoy having their pictures taken alongside both the iconic work of art and of course, the wonderful Laurel River. SEEMAR LEFT ON CLOUD 9 AS DAZZLING DUBAI WORLD CUP WIN TAKES TIME TO SINK IN LAURELS FLOWING LIKE A RIVER Watching the scene unfold, it is clear from an early stage that there was never going to be an issue with Laurel River coping with a packed Meydan parade ring or a fervent racecourse atmosphere as he remains unflustered as the excitement unfolds around him. Displaying the same calm persona exhibited by his handler, the son of Into Mischief patiently waits for his duties to be concluded before exiting stage left with the minimum of fuss. In some way he is his trainer in equine form, a class act, unflustered and in control of his emotions at virtually all times – albeit they became a little harder to suppress on Saturday as Laurel River strolled majestically clear in the Meydan straight under Tadgh O’Shea. “It still hasn’t hit home yet. It is the stuff of dreams, it is unbelievable to win the best race in the world against the best horses, trainers and jockeys,” recalled Seemar. “To have a horse that did it the way he did is absolutely incredible, it’s a phenomenal feeling. “I was calm until it happened as you never know until that moment, that second that it happens – you have to wait to celebrate in my view. I just didn’t want anything to go wrong, so I waited until the last second, but when he crossed the line, I thought ‘oh my God, what has just happened here!’ TO HAVE A HORSE THAT DID IT THE WAY HE DID IS ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE, IT’S A PHENOMENAL FEELING. I WAS CALM UNTIL IT HAPPENED AS YOU NEVER KNOW UNTIL THAT MOMENT, THAT SECOND THAT IT HAPPENS – YOU HAVE TO WAIT TO CELEBRATE IN MY VIEW – BHUPAT SEEMAR.

THE BIG READ / BHUPAT SEEMAR 12 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 840 Thursday 4th April 2024 adiyat racing adiyat racing Tuz went like a rocket to win Seemar a second G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen title ‘I WAS QUIETLY CONFIDENT’ “I have to be honest; I was quietly confident going into the race. I never brag about my horse or talk big about them until the race as I think I might jinx them! “When Laurel River did his second last gallop and his last piece of work, I was quietly thinking to myself ‘how good is a horse going to have to be to come and beat him!’ “The biggest thing about this horse is that we have never seen the bottom of him. The gallops he was doing he was recovering so quickly from them, and he was like one of those top, elite athletes that has a natural ability to recover rapidly. “I’ve never seen that in a racehorse before; I’ve been in Dubai for 21 years and I was in America for five years before that and I worked for a trainer who has won a few Kentucky Derbys and I’ve never seen a horse recover as quickly as this horse. It is unbelievable.” Laurel River’s Dubai World Cup success was difficult to envisage after his subdued Dubai debut in the G3 Al Shindagha Sprint over 1200m where he was beaten 10 lengths. Seemar continues: “First of all, it was trainer error as I got him beaten the first time, but on the other hand he hadn’t run for 500 or so days so I was trying to take care of him, and I thought his raw ability may just get him there on his debut for us. “I think in hindsight it became a very good prep as we didn’t overtrain him, and we got him there for the Al Shindagha and took care of him. In turn, that insured he was a better horse for the Burj Nahaar and he certainly did get some training for that! “He is something I’ve never seen before, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be around horses that have won Kentucky Derbys. “I just haven’t seen what this horse has before and to do what he did and how he did it on Saturday was quite incredible.” The demolition job in the 1600m Burj Nahaar showcased Laurel River’s talents but most then felt he was a natural fit for the Godolphin Mile and a tilt at the $1.2m bonus. However, Seemar thought otherwise. “I talked about it with Juddmonte and told them that I really felt we ought to go for the ‘big one’. My reasoning was that he wasn’t stopping in the Burj Nahaar as Tadgh wrapped him up that day and he still won by half a dozen lengths,” he adds. “If you look at the bottom part of his pedigree, his dam who is by Empire Maker who won the Belmont mile-and-a-half and on the dam side again is Touch Gold who also won over 12 furlongs. And then there is AP Indy who won the Belmont again so there was a lot of stamina on his dam side. “I have to thank Juddmonte and the team so much as they said, ‘You do what you think is right’ and they had the confidence in me to do what I thought was right. “It’s incredible really as Juddmonte sent me an email last year and asked, ‘would you like to train for us?’ and I was already jumping up and down as who wouldn’t want to train for an organisation like Juddmonte? LAUREL RIVER’S DUBAI WORLD CUP SUCCESS MIGHT HAVE BEEN DIFFICULT TO ENVISAGE AFTER HIS SUBDUED DUBAI DEBUT IN THE G3 AL SHINDAGHA SPRINT OVER 1200m WHERE HE WAS BEATEN 10 LENGTHS.

THE BIG READ / BHUPAT SEEMAR 13 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 840 Thursday 4th April 2024 adiyat racing adiyat racing Laurel River could be targeted at next year’s Saudi Cup and then return to Dubai for a defence of his Dubai World Cup title ‘JUDDMONTE ONE OF THE BEST’ “They are one of the best breeding operations in the world and I was very lucky to be chosen to train for them.” So what now for the champion, are there ambitious plans? “I have talked to the Juddmonte team again regarding the future and they have to talk to the Princes before anything can be decided. “It is going to be their decision where Laurel River goes, I can give my feedback, but ultimately it is their call. “In my opinion, and I think this is what Juddmonte would also like to do, we will try and take Laurel River to the Saudi Cup before coming back for the Dubai World Cup again. “If it happens and we can get him to both races fit and healthy then he could end up being one of the highest prize money winners in the world. “The double hasn’t been achieved yet so it would be marvelous to have a good horse enough to take us to both races, God willing. “We’ve had horses go to Saudi sprints before coming back to Dubai and winning the Golden Shaheen, so we know what it takes.” For Seemar, it was a fitting end to a significant chapter of his career at Zabeel Stables. Pastures new await at Green Stables where he will be training a string, no doubt swelling by the time a new campaign rolls around in the autumn, on the track where Laurel River and Tuz made history on Saturday. He concludes: “I thought ‘this is incredible’ when Tuz won the Golden Shaheen and quietly, I felt we still had a proper weapon still to unleash on the Dubai World Cup. “I have one of the best teams in the world, with some of the best people working here and it was lovely to do it for Zabeel Stables because this was the last year for Zabeel Stables so to go out on a high was amazing. “We have some great memories of being at Zabeel but now we can make some more memories from our new base. It is a new chapter, and we are extremely excited about where it will take us.” I THOUGHT, ‘THIS IS INCREDIBLE’, WHEN TUZ WON THE GOLDEN SHAHEEN AND QUIETLY, I FELT WE STILL HAD A PROPER WEAPON STILL TO UNLEASH ON THE DUBAI WORLD CUP – BHUPAT SEEMAR.

CHAMPIONSHIP SHOWDOWN 14 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 840 Thursday 4th April 2024 adiyat racing CAPITAL THRILLER And so after five months of non-stop racing, it has come down to this! Alas, the UAE Trainers’ Championship will be decided over the final three Thoroughbred contests, two of which have been pencilled in for the penultimate night of racing at Abu Dhabi, where the main two protagonists of the 2023/24 campaign saddle the best from their yards in a last attempt at wrestling the title off the other. Both Bhupat Seemar, the recent winner of the Dubai World Cup, and Michael Costa, the long-time championship leader, find themselves locked on 36 wins apiece. And while time will reveal which of the two wins the title, we look back at what was a spectacular season for both sides! RUNNERS WINNERS SECOND THIRD STRIKE RATE % TOP 3 % 296 36 30 32 25 33.10 144 36 23 12.2 10 42.97 PRIZE MONEY (AED) 18.3m 4.2m Dubai World Cup (Laurel River) Dubai Golden Shaheen (Tuz) UAE 2000 Guineas (Mendelssohn Bay) Mahab Al Shimaal (Leading Spirit) Al Bastakiya (Killer Collect) Burj Nahaar (Laurel River) Dubawi Stakes (Tuz) Al Shindagha Sprint (Mouheeb) MAJOR WINS 2023/24 SEASON MAJOR WINS 2023/24 SEASON

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DUBAI WORLD CUP 16 adiyat racing adiyat racing ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 840 Thursday 4th April 2024 LOCAL HEROES MANAGE TO HOLD THE INTERNATIONALS AT BAY SATURDAY’S TRIP OF 2000m WAS AN UNKNOWN, BUT FORMER TRAINER BOB BAFFERT, WHO SADDLED NEWGATE IN THE RACE, WAS SURE LAUREL RIVER WOULD BE A THREAT. BARRIER 12 GAVE O’SHEA NO CHOICE BUT TO BE POSITIVE EARLY. By Pat Comerford, the man behind the microphone for the 2024 Dubai World Cup I’ve always questioned what draws me to racing. To those physically involved, it’s certainly not the early mornings, the seven day a week commitment or the weight cutting if you are playing the role of jockey. It sounds cliché, but I’ve narrowed it down to the stories, where dreams become reality, that split second moment where all that grinding pays off and for the lucky few, it makes the commitment all worth it. Like any great race, by the time the horses pass the line, there are a plethora of stories waiting to be told, none more so than the rider and trainer of the winner picking up their first Dubai World Cup. COMMITTED DUO Two men who have committed themselves to UAE racing and endeavoured to not only contribute to the industry here, but try and compete with the international visitors who travel many miles to claim victory on one of world racing’s night of nights. Firstly, let’s discuss Tadhg O’Shea, an Irish jockey who has spent over two decades turning himself into a household name in the Gulf with more than a decade’s worth of rider’s premierships to his name, finally taking home the race that many dream to win. And then there is Bhupat Seemar, a man following in his uncle’s footsteps trying to pave his own path as a horse trainer in the Middle East. TRUE PROFESSIONALS Year after year, successful season after successful season, both men have excelled, but have on many occasions settled for placings in big races on World Cup night as a home ground advantage can only take you so far. Finally, there is Laurel River, a horse whose first run didn’t pan out as planned. Granted, there was excuses as to the tardy start to the campaign, but both trainer and rider were adamant it wasn’t a true representation of where the horse was at. The following start was arrogant, an on pace a win that gave viewers an inkling this horse was to be respected. Sure, he provided pace for the back markers, but what if he could get far enough in front that chasing him down would be near on impossible. O’SHEA HAD TO BE POSITIVE Saturday’s trip of 2000m was an unknown, but former trainer Bob Baffert, who saddled Newgate in the race, was sure he would be a threat. Barrier 12 gave O’Shea no choice but to be positive early. At the halfway mark, he hadn’t done much work to find his favourite role and every other horse left him alone. Defunded attempted to match his splits, but soon dropped away. I’d like to say I had confidence he would lead all the way, but at the 200m when I thought he’d start to paddle, he maintained his speed and put victory beyond any doubt. This win means so much to not only those involved, but local trainers hoping to one day claim a Dubai World Cup. O’Shea and Seemar were rewarded for their commitments on Saturday night and the crowd responded accordingly. They are two names who have brought racing fans so much joy and will continue to do so in the future. We love the contribution that our visitors bring each and every year but sometimes, the local heroes prevail. Seemar and O’Shea


18 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 840 Thursday 4th April 2024 DUBAI WORLD CUP adiyat racing adiyat racing LONDON TOWERS OVER RIVALS IN DUBAI GOLD CUP TO WOW CLOCKWATCHERS By Angus McNae The Dubai World Cup meeting 2024 brought us a a bit of everything as far as the data was concerned. Strongly run races, steadily run contests, a track record and one bizarre race. They all combined to provide a compelling night of action. I have put together a pocket data guide for the meeting which serves to clarify what happened in all nine races. Some of the numbers will merely confirm what your eyes told you on the night, but some paint a different and interesting picture. DUBAI KAHAYLA CLASSIC: TILAL AL KHALEDIAH The clock stopped at 2m13.87s which was exactly two seconds outside the track record set by Deryan in 2021. The winner found a good trip from stall two, tracking even fractions set by AF Alwajel. Angled out turning for home, he showed a tremendous attitude, running through the final two furlongs in 26.36s which suggests that he did not quicken significantly, but merely maintained his gallop better than his rivals with a Finishing Speed Percentage (FSP) of 101.57%. His stable companion Asfan Al Khalediah found himself in kickback from stall seven and resented it to lose his unbeaten record. GODOLPHIN MILE: TWO RIVERS OVER This was a strongly run race where a contested pace set by Isolate (third) and Walk of Stars (second) set the race up for a horse to close from midfield, however the data does not point to a fast finish from the winner. This early fractions were fierce; 11.78s 10.97s 11.34s, ensuring that Walk of Stars and Isolate were running on empty in the final two furlongs. This tempo caused most of the field to cry enough a long way from home. Two Rivers Over was the only horse able to keep going well enough to get to the tired leaders. He didn’t finish quickly though, his FSP of 96.79% tells us his final quarter mile of 25.18s was 3.21% slower TILAL AL KHALEDIAH MAINTAINED HIS GALLOP BETTER THAN HIS RIVALS WITH A FINISHING SPEED PERCENTAGE OF 101.57%

19 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 840 Thursday 4th April 2024 DUBAI WORLD CUP adiyat racing adiyat racing than he ran the previous six furlongs. In essence, he finished slowly but not as slowly as his two nearest pursuers whose chances were spoilt by engaging in a speed duel. DUBAI GOLD CUP: TOWER OF LONDON Tower of London is a very good horse. The speed he showed from a poor position to win going away is something rarely seen from a two mile stayer and he will have no problem dropping back in trip to 12 furlongs. The first three furlongs were strongly run at 12.44s, 11.76s, 11.86s with Tower of London settled in rear from a wide draw in stall 14. Thereafter the pace steadied down the back straight. Both Al Nayyir (second) and Trawlerman (3rd) raced much closer to the pace than their conqueror and held a positional advantage over the winner. Position mattered little though as Tower of London flew through the final two furlongs in 22.01s which meant he finished the race with an FSP of 112.00%. That speed took him past horses which were not stopping and in so doing he could not have been more impressive. AL QUOZ SPRINT: CALIFORNIA SPANGLE The track record set by Wildman Jack in 2020 in this race (1.07.61s) came tumbling down with California Spangle stopping the clock at 1.07.50s. The winner was rated superbly at the front of the field by Brenton Abdullah. If he had gone too fast he would have been vulnerable to the fast finishing Star of Mystery but in recording an FSP of 100.13% we know that he ran evenly. In recording 22.47s for the final two furlongs and having a few lengths advantage on Star of Mystery as they hit the quarter mile pole it is clear she faced mission impossible in trying to run the winner down. California Spangle is a versatile performer who can utilise his speed at a mile or seven furlongs and now we know that he is a Group 1 sprinter as well. UAE DERBY: FOREVER YOUNG This Japanese three-year-old remains unbeaten in five starts, winning this a shade comfortably despite having a draw in stall 11 and encountering a wide trip which would have cost him plenty of ground. The final time of 1.57.89s was 2.08s outside the time achieved by Derma Sotogake last year and 2.71s outside Mendelssohn’s track record. The early pace was strong as horses tried to secure a good early position. The first furlong was run in 10.69s, the second in 11.24s. Once the field were in the back straight they settled into a steadier gallop with Forever Young posted four deep. Despite the wide trip and strong opening fractions Forever Young was able to finish the race relatively well. He ran the final two furlongs in 24.11s which meant his FSP was 102.94%. He had clearly been able to save enough petrol as the pace steadied in the back straight and ran home 2.94% quicker than he ran the rest of the race. The Kentucky Derby is now on the agenda. DUBAI GOLDEN SHAHEEN: TUZ A sprint dominated THE GOLDEN SHAHEEN WAS A SPRINT DOMINATED BY DON FRANKIE AND TUZ (PICTURED) WHO SURGED CLEAR THROUGH THE FINAL FURLONG OF THE 1200m DIRT CONTEST.

20 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 840 Thursday 4th April 2024 DUBAI WORLD CUP adiyat racing adiyat racing by Tuz and Don Frankie with the winner surging clear through the final furlong. Tuz had disappointed in the Saudi Sprint after a freakish eight-and-a-half length success at Meydan and his home track clearly suits him better. From stalls two and three, the first two duelled through sharp early fractions of 11.29s and 10.34s. They were in danger of setting the race up for the closers but Tadhg O’Shea sensibly eased off the gas around the home turn so that rather than eyeballing Don Frankie he was sat just half a length behind him, while still maintaining his position on the rail. This did mean he was briefly hampered by the winner as they leveled out for home. He then kept on strongly against the rail recording a final two furlongs of 23.29s. His FSP of 100.46s tells us he managed to maintain his speed better than Don Frankie. It may have looked as if he surged clear, but the data says he just kept rolling. His ability to sustain his speed to the line was helped by his jockey coveting the rail position. DUBAI TURF: FACTEUR CHEVAL All eyes were on three-time winner Lord North who was a disappointment as he travelled well but failed to quicken in the home straight. That is not something that could be said of Facteur Cheval who quickened from midfield to record a final two furlongs of 21.45s; the fastest finish on the card. His FSP of 109.72% highlights just how fast he finished and it should be noted that Namur (second) also flew home having been dropped in from a wide draw. This was a top class performance in a race where the pace was honest. The first four furlongs recorded as being 12.20s, 11.05s, 11.18s and 11.14s, the first four coming from off the pace. Facteur Cheval recorded a career best here, showing a smart turn of foot in a race where the pace held no excuses for any of the runners. DUBAI SHEEMA CLASSIC: REBEL’S ROMANCE (PICTURED) A fabulous renewal of this race, stolen by William Buick and Rebel’s Romance. The scenario here for a Group 1 contest was somewhat farcical. Point Lonsdale set tepid fractions of 12.61s, 11.82s, 12.5s, 12.62s, 12.05s and 12.44s. He was allowed a clear lead with William Buick tracking him in second place several lengths clear of the rest of the field. Rebel’s Romance held a huge positional advantage given the run of the race and the steady gallop allowed him to save enough petrol for a fast finish. He stormed home with an FSP of 109.25%. In running a final two furlongs of 22.29s, he would have been hard to catch if he had been given a length’s head TILAL AL KHALEDIAH FSP FINAL 400M (SECS) 101.57% 26.36s TWO RIVERS OVER FSP FINAL 400M (SECS) 96.79% 25.18s TOWER OF LONDON FSP FINAL 400M (SECS) 112.00% 22.01s CALIFORNIA SPANGLE FSP FINAL 400M (SECS) 100.13% 22.47s FOREVER YOUNG FSP FINAL 400M (SECS) 102.94% 24.11s TUZ FSP FINAL 400M (SECS) 100.46s 23.29s FACTEUR CHEVAL FSP FINAL 400M (SECS) 109.72% 21.45s REBEL’S ROMANCE FSP FINAL 400M (SECS) 109.25% 22.29s LAUREL RIVER FSP FINAL 400M (SECS) 93.76% 26.09s

21 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 840 Thursday 4th April 2024 DUBAI WORLD CUP adiyat racing adiyat racing LAUREL RIVER (PICTURED) OVERCAME STALL 12 USING HIS NATURAL SPEED; HIS SECOND FURLONG OF 10.86s TOOK HIM TO THE FRONT AND HE MAINTAINED THE GALLOP THROUGH AN 11.58s FURLONG AND 11.66s FURLONG. start let alone the 10 lengths he was afforded. The main pack were led by Joao Moreira on Justin Palace and he didn’t react when Buick upped the pace and passed Point Lonsdale. As Buick kicked, the rest stacked up behind Moreira and their race was lost at that point although it can be argued it had already been lost a good deal earlier. Full marks to Buick, but the less said about the other rides here the better. DUBAI WORLD CUP: LAUREL RIVER Any newcomer to racing who wants to understand dirt racing should be shown this race. An example of raw, brazen speed being utilised to take other horses out of their comfort zones before maintaining that advantage once a clear lead has been established. Dirt racing as it should be and thrilling to watch. Laurel River overcame stall 12 using his natural speed; his second furlong of 10.86s took him to the front and he maintained the gallop through an 11.58s furlong and 11.66s furlong. This pace established a clear lead with rider Tadhg O’Shea sitting against him trying to conserve energy. However, Laurel River is quite a free going sort and was a tired horse in the final two furlongs. He came home in 26.09s which equated to an FSP of 93.76%. He was therefore 6.24% slower in the final quarter mile than he had been in the previous mile. That didn’t matter though because his speed had won him the race before he got close to the two furlong pole. The closers, Ushba Tesoro and Senor Buscador, came calling and closed in the final two furlongs but Laurel River had established way too much of an advantage for that to be significant. This was dirt racing at its very best where horses are taken out of their comfort zones with early speed and then asked to stretch that speed as they hit the wall. Laurel River did that and more to dazzle a delighted Meydan crowd.

REVIEW / LONGINES DUBAI SHEEMA CLASSIC 22 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 840 Thursday 4th April 2024 adiyat racing adiyat racing By Duane Fonseca Three years after winning the UAE Derby on dirt, Godolphin’s star globetrotter Rebel’s Romance paraded down Meydan’s lush green turf surface for a history making win in the G1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic. Trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by William Buick, happy to play the percentages, the six-year-old Dubawi gelding won in rather straightforward fashion with no dramas. Buick had to restrain the rather keen former Breeders’ Cup winner early on and let Point Lonsdale (Wayne Lordan), one of two for trainer Aidan O’Brien, set the pace. The pair were clear of the rest, with Point Lonsdale holding a three length lead at the halfway stage of the 2410m contest. Bidding to thwart the fast-closing Rebel’s Romance, Lordan put Point Lonsdale under a ride turning for home, while Buick, knowing he had plenty of horse under him, refrained from going after the leaders immediately and waited for the 400m marker to materialise. Once he stepped on the gas, Rebel’s Romance showed a solid turn of foot to skip away and go well clear, finding himself winning with two lengths to spare from Hideaki Fujiwara’s 2022 champion Shahryar (Cristian Demuro), who closed in sharply towards the end to deny his Sunday Racing teammate Liberty Island (Mitsumasa Nakauchida/ Yuga Kawada), who placed third a further length behind. It was a third-straight success in a third different country for Rebel’s Romance (G3 in Qatar, after a Listed event at Kempton), while odds on favourite and O’Brien’s dual Derby hero Auguste Rodin finished last of IT WAS A THIRDSTRAIGHT SUCCESS IN A THIRD DIFFERENT COUNTRY FOR REBEL’S ROMANCE, WHO HAD WON A GROUP3 IN QATAR ON HIS LAST START, WHICH CAME ON THE BACK OF A LISTED WIN AT KEMPTON. REBEL’S ROMANCE LEADS HOME A PROCESSION

REVIEW / LONGINES DUBAI SHEEMA CLASSIC 23 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 840 Thursday 4th April 2024 adiyat racing adiyat racing IT WAS OUR LAST ROLL OF THE DICE FOR TODAY — CHARLIE APPLEBY. the dozen, when seeking a third straight victory himself. “He showed in Qatar what a versatile horse he is,” said Buick. “His best form has usually been when he’s held up but in Qatar I tried something new. I was keen today to adopt a similar tactic and I got a lovely slipstream from the leader. “He’s a very good horse on his day and he showed that today. I’m absolutely delighted; he’s a great horse and I’m so glad he’s back to his best.” Buick added: “You know His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum wants to see the best horses come to Dubai and the best horses are here. These races are incredibly hard to win so of course I’m incredibly happy. It’s great for the team, great for everybody. It’s great to be here and it’s great to ride a winner. It’s an amazing training performance and a great job by the whole team. I’m in the fortunate position to be able to ride these horses.” Appleby added: “It was our last roll of the dice for today. We went into the race as a long shot which shows the depth of the race. We had a bumpy road last year, went to Kempton to bring up his confidence and then Qatar to bring him back to where we wanted him to be. “Full credit to the team, especially the logistical team as he went back to the UK from Qatar and then out here. “The plan was to go forward and William knows the track and horse very well. Most importantly, delighted for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed and the entire team at Godolphin.” RESULTS 1. Rebel’s Romance (Buick/Appleby) 2. Shahryar (Demuro/Fujiwara) 3. Liberty Island (Kawada/Nakauchida) Dubai Crown Prince, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum received Rebel’s Romance after his Sheema Classic win

REVIEW / DUBAI TURF 24 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 840 Thursday 4th April 2024 adiyat racing By Sam Turner Renditions of La Marseillaise could be heard echoing around a vibrant Meydan Racecourse as Facteur Cheval finally enjoyed his day in the sun with a thrilling victory in the G1 Dubai Turf. So often the bridesmaid last summer in some of the leading European pattern races, the five-year-old son of Ribchester chased home the likes of Big Rock, Paddington and Sauterne at the top-level. However, racing in the colours of Team Valour International and Gary Barber, the Gallic raider appeared to find improvement here for a step up to 1800m. Jerome Reynier’s trainee needed to be tough to register his first G1 win though with the Cristian Demuro-ridden Namur tenacious in defeat as the duo dueled down the Meydan straight. After a pulsating battle, Maxime Guyon forced Facteur Cheval’s head in front at the line to deny his Japanese rival a second success on the night for his country following their win in the UAE Derby. The strongly fancied Do Deuce found everything happening too quickly, but stayed on strongly into fifth in the straight despite not enjoying the clearest of passages with connections perhaps ruing the fact he was in this race and not the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic. Third-home Danon Beluga, runner-up a year ago, finished off well again for third, once again just missing out on the Gold medal. “He’s a great champion. We didn’t know how CONSISTENT CHEVAL FINALLY HITS THE BIG TIME IN THRILLING DUBAI TURF he would handle the faster ground because he has more used to racing on soft and heavy surfaces but you can see how well he did,” said Guyon who was winning the race for the second time after Solow in 2015. “He gave me a really great turn of foot and really wanted to fight to the line. I didn’t want to go too early because he’s been running over 1600m and was stepping up in trip slightly, for all that I think he’ll stay 2000m. I always had this thought at the back of my mind that it was his first run of the year and it was further than he’s been running over. But I never felt like he would crack,” he added. I NEVER FELT LIKE HE WOULD CRACK— MAXIME GUYON.

REVIEW / DUBAI TURF 25 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 840 Thursday 4th April 2024 adiyat racing RESULTS 1. Facteur Cheval (Reynier/Guyon) 2. Namur (Takano/Demuro) 3. Danon Beluga (Hori/Moreira) For Reynier, it was a landmark victory with special connotations given the links to Dubai he forged many years ago. “It’s just amazing, I have no words. You know 16 years ago we were here with (Darley) Flying Start and that was at Nad Al Sheba,” said Reynier. “I see a horse here that has been prepared the best way possible by Gregory (Davignon, work rider) and it’s just amazing, I can’t believe it. “I said to Maxime I’ve never seen this horse go backwards at the finish, he is always going forward and giving his best. I had no doubts about the distance and Maxime has given him a perfect ride, he had Lord North to follow and he switched off during the race. “He switched him to the outside and then waited long enough to save something for the end and that’s just amazing. I am so happy for all my team,” added Reynier. “It depends how he recovers but he can stay here and take it easy. He’s adapted very well here and seems very happy so maybe we could try Hong Kong next for the QEII Cup at the end of April.” Three times a winner of the race, Lord North had chance as the tempo quickened at the top of the home straight but could only finish eighth. The clock stopped at 1 minute 45.91 seconds, making it the third-fastest edition of the race in the last decade. Lord North’s jockey, Frankie Dettori, said: “He had a great spot, great cover. He travelled great into the straight but he just didn't have the gears that he had in the past. We are all getting older, right?!” Trainer John Gosden added: “The old boy probably found the ground too lively for him, he’s always been lucky to get a little bit of cut here, but he’s run a lovely race.” The other Gosden representative Nashwa was ninth from a poor draw but ran better than her finishing position according to jockey Hollie Doyle. “She’s run a huge race. She jumped okay and I took my time in coming across. I tried to get a nice breather into her and held onto her in front as long as I could and she quickened up so well. However, she paid the price for the draw.” John Gosden, trainer: “Nashwa has run great from an impossible draw, you had to use your horse to get a position, they came to the furlong pole and she’s still strong. The draw cost her. It was a super race for the first run of the year.” There was a sad postscript to the race when the Michael Stidham trainee Catnip came down in the straight, causing rider Christophe Lemaire to take a nasty fall. The Frenchman, who was due to ride Derma Sotogake in the Dubai World Cup, was taken to hospital where he was found to have a broken collar bone and two broken ribs. I SAID TO MAXIME I’VE NEVER SEEN THIS HORSE GO BACKWARDS AT THE FINISH, HE IS ALWAYS GOING FORWARD AND GIVING HIS BEST — JEROME REYNIER. Trainer Jerome Reynier and jockey Maxime Guyon receive their silverware after Facteur Cheval’s G1 Dubai Turf success

REVIEW / DUBAI GOLDEN SHAHEEN 26 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 840 Thursday 4th April 2024 adiyat racing Tuz won by a massive six and a half lengths

REVIEW / DUBAI GOLDEN SHAHEEN 27 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 840 Thursday 4th April 2024 adiyat racing RESULTS 1. Tuz (Seemar/ O’Shea) 2. Don Frankie (Saito/Demuro) 3. Nakatomi (Ward/Spencer) ‘RUSSIAN FRANKEL’ TUZ ONE OF A BRILLIANT DOUBLE FOR ZABEEL By Duane Fonseca After a narrow miss last year, the 2024 running of the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen brought a sweet winning return to the winners’ enclosure for 2022 winning Zabeel Stables pair of Bhupat Seemar and Tadhg O’Shea as Tuz capitalised along the fence to win the dirt sprint sponsored by Nakheel. Taking full advantage of a vital gap that opened up along the rail in the straight, O’Shea slipped his Group 3 Dubawi Stakes champ into top gear. He had to decelerate soon after deciding to go, however, as Takashi Saito’s pacesetting Don Frankie appeared to narrow the gap. But with plenty left in the tank, Tuz was asked to stretch fully and obliged with a solid kick to win by a massive six and a half lengths. Don Frankie was second under Cristian Demuro, with Nakatomi a further three quarter lengths behind for trainer Wesley Ward and Jamie Spencer. “He’s got so much natural speed; his weapon is his speed,” said winning trainer Bhupat Seemar. “He’s always been a fast horse and it’s like Switzerland - he ran poorly in Saudi and then won the Shaheen. Sprinters mature and they know what to do. I had some confidence.” Winning jockey O’Shea said: “He’s very fast. We had a great gate number (two) but we were getting pressured a long way out. He had to be good and tough. There wasn’t much room to manoeuvre down the inside, but I had a good, willing partner. He’s a big horse. When he straightened up, he went through the eye of a needle. I was a length down off Cristian on the home turn. I gave Tuz a squeeze and the response was immediate. He’s a high class horse and when he gets a rail to shoot at, he’s very, very, very good.” Ward trained Nakatomi (Spencer) was last straightening for home, but did exceptionally well to put his head down and finish third, ahead of joint favourite Remake, who filled in at fourth despite being bumped early in the straight, which might have hampered the G3 Riyadh Dirt Sprint winner’s chances of a better finish. Defending champion Sibelius, the other red hot name on the roster, finished a disappointing 11th for Jeremy O’Dwyer. Spencer said: “The horse drawn nine (Hopkins) took my chance away when he crossed me after 50m and it cost me any chance of winning the race.” HE’S A HIGH CLASS HORSE AND WHEN HE GETS A RAIL TO SHOOT AT, HE’S VERY, VERY, VERY GOOD — TADHG O’SHEA. Tuz’s connections celebrate his stunning success in the Dubai Golden Shaheen