By Duane Fonseca -
The father and son training partnership of Simon and Ed Crisford enjoyed a second victory in the Group 3 Jebel Ali Mile on Saturday afternoon after Swing Vote ran home a stylish near four length winner of the venue’s most high profile annual affair under William Buick.
Seemingly stranded in traffic 600m out, the four-year-old Shamardal gelding justified his top billing after Buick bought him room by nudging him left towards the standside rail. Taking the scenic route, Swing Vote, a four-length winner of the Prep three weeks ago, quickened effortlessly to win by three-and-three-quarters of a length from Salem bin Ghadayer’s 2020 UAE Oaks heroine Down On Da Bayou, who forced the pace Jose Santiago, but ran out of steam in the final 300m. The seven-year-old Super Saver mare did well, however, to hold on to second as she finished a neck ahead of Musabbeh Al Mheiri’s Qareeb (Richard Mullen).
Meanwhile, the bonus for winning at least two rounds of the Emirates Sprint Series (ESS) were claimed by the colours of Sayed Hashish for the second-straight year after Colour Up’s success in the Listed Jebel Ali Sprint, which marked the third leg of the ESS. Winning the second leg of the series, the Listed Garhoud Sprint at Meydan on December 8, had put the six-year-old Mehmas gelding in line for the bonus AED250,000 in addition to the prize money.
And Colour Up ensured the bonus fund dropped into Hashish’s account for the second-consecutive year as he powered home down the centre of the track under Pat Dobbs to edge Al Mheiri’s Al Shibli, the ride of Sandro Paiva, on the line. Leading Spirit was a further length behind in third for Bhupat Seemar and Tadhg O’Shea. Hashish had picked up the bonus last year after Road Bloc nailed both legs.
Getting the afternoon underway was the Wathba Stallions Cup 0-90 handicap sponsored by the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Racing Festival which was won by Ibrahim Al Hadhrami’s Sam Hitchcott-driven Ramz Muscat by a length-and-a-quarter from AF Rami, trained by Ernst Oertel and ridden apprentice Patrick Hartnett.
The Thoroughbreds kicked into action thereafter and the first contest for the type, the 1200m Al Shafar Investment Stakes was won by the Rashed Bouresly-schooled Houb Al Wattan (Omar Salas), who had enough firepower in store to thwart a late advance from race favourite Eruptive, trained by Musabbeh Al Mheiri and steered by Tadhg O’Shea.
The training partnership of Simon and Ed Crisford picked up from where they left at Meydan the night before and collected a fifth success for the term after the Pat Cosgrave ridden My Honor, making his second career start managed to find that extra bit needed to pip Ahmad bin Harmash’s Bismilah Alik (Connor Beasley) on the line in the 1600m Emirates Airlines Cup, a winner-restricted run for three-year-olds.
Salem bin Ghadayer and Royston Ffrench added to their tallies after Homespin won the 1600m Commercial Bank of Dubai 0-80 handicap after the photo was called in to confirm he had indeed gotten the better of Fawzi Nass’ favourite El Introvertido, the ride of Adrie de Vries.
Michael Costa-trained Makfoul (Ben Coen) ensured the ‘home team’ signed off on a happy note after landing the concluding 1950m Sukoon Takaful Stakes 0-90 handicap in the colours of Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.