Feature Story

Al Nefud caps another brilliant night for Zabeel with Dubai Creek Mile success 

Al Nefud caps another brilliant night for Zabeel with Dubai Creek Mile success  Nov 24, 2023

By Duane Fonseca - 

Trainer Bhupat Seemar and champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea enjoyed a treble at Dubai’s iconic Meydan Racecourse Friday night after Mendelssohn Bay dropped his name in the hat for this season’s classics and Al Nefud doubled up for the pair in the feature event of the night, the Listed Dubai Creek Mile.

O’Shea made brilliant use of his immense experience in the saddle aboard Mendelssohn Bay, who did his sire Mendelssohn, winner of the 2018 Group 2 UAE Derby, proud by winning the Palm West Beach presented by Nakheel 1400m maiden on his first start.

Kept just off the pace, O’Shea got Mendelssohn Bay to change gears effortlessly in the straight from where he went quickly drawing level with Million Doro (Ahmad bin Harmash/Connor Beasley) at the 200m marker and finding much more to win by a length, with Elyabri a further four and quarter lengths behind in third for Musabbeh Al Mheiri and Ryan Curatolo.  

The feature saw Al Nefud, O’Shea up, trail the pace set by stable companion and former Group 2 Godolphin Mile winner Secret Ambition, the ride of Bernardo Pinheiro, already a winner on the night with Najm Al Wathba (trained by Majed Al Jahoori) in the card-opening PA Group 2 Bani Yas. 

Always in a good position, O’Shea brought Al Nefud along the rail and hitting the front early in the stretch, the pair pulled clear to win by six and three fourths of a length from Golden Goal (Doug Watson/Sam Hitchcott), while Secret Ambition finished a further length back in third.

Enjoying a double on the night were trainers Michael Costa and Salem bin Ghadayer.

Costa was first to complete his, both wins courtesy retained rider Ben Coen, Lahfaty scoring first for the pair in the Palm Jumeirah 1200m maiden by three lengths, followed by Thawban, who won the 1200m The View at the Palm Handicap (65-85) with a late burst by three fourths of a length from Mr Kafoo (Bin Harmash/Beasley).  

Bin Ghadayer scored first in the Palm Jebel Ali Handicap (65-85) over 1600m, Made In Dubai (Mickael Barzalona) landing the spoils there by three lengths, while his second of the night was brought in by Book Review (Royston Ffrench), who won the main event on the undercard, the Thunder Snow Handicap (1900m) by six and three fourths of a length. 

Seemar and O'Shea rounded off the scoring after Southern Artist hit the front close to home in the card-closing Dubai Islands conditions run over 1600, which capped a fine night for the pair.