JEBEL ALI // Emirati trainer Musabah Al Muhairi is on track to win a first UAE trainers’ championship and fired in four winners at Jebel Ali yesterday, including victory in the featured Listed Jebel Ali Stakes with Interpret.
It was Al Muhairi’s third win in a row in the 1,950-metre highlight, having won the past two with Treble Jig, but he must have had concerns 1,000m out yesterday.
At that stage, Godolphin jockey Silvestre De Sousa was throwing out the distress signals but his mount responded to take the lead close to the finish and record what had appeared before the home turn to be an unlikely victory.
De Sousa, who also won the big race at Meydan on Thursday to cap a good weekend, said: “It has been a great weekend but that was quite hard work.
“The trainer was hopeful and his confidence has been justified but this horse [whose half-brother, Invasor, won the 2007 Dubai World Cup] will probably appreciate even further.”
De Sousa’s winning ride made it a double for himself and the trainer after earlier combining to win the 1,600m conditions race on Colmar Kid, one of three winners on the card to set a new track record during an afternoon where there was a strong tailwind.
Winning for the second consecutive Jebel Ali meeting, Colmar Kid is clearly improving.
“He won nicely two weeks ago but this was definitely a better race and this was a good effort,” De Sousa said. “Hopefully he can continue on the upgrade.”
Al Muhairi in fact saddled four consecutive winners with Paul Hanagan, riding for his main employer Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, completing the trainer’s treble and starting his own on Shaishee, who broke the track record in the process of recording his first victory.
The same connections combined again for victory in the next race with Kanaf, who was Al Muhairi’s fourth winner and the middle leg of the jockey and owner’s treble.
Al Muhairi said: “We knew we had some big chances on the card and were hopeful of a good afternoon but we have to be delighted with four winners – especially as we had no runner in the first. The horses have been running well all season and hopefully that can continue.”
Ali Rashid Al Raihe saddled Sheikh Hamdan and Hanagan’s third winner, Mujaazef, who was able to lower the previous best time in the concluding 1,200m handicap.
Kilt Rock set a frantic early gallop, which really suited Hanagan’s mount, and he won easily from the fast finishing Spin Cycle.
Hanagan said: “I thought I would have a winner, perhaps two, but three is a great afternoon for the boss and myself.”
Al Muhairi ended the afternoon on 26 winners for the season so far, eight more than reigning champion trainer Ernst Oertel.
The opening 1,600m conditions race, the only Purebred Arabian race on the card, was won by Bouthayna Al Reef, trained by Jaber Bitar and giving jockey Ted Durcan a first winner of the season.
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