Al Muhairi victorious at Meydan’s opening meeting of season

Watson saddles double to take his tally to seven in three meetings

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Musabah Al Muhairi celebrated a treble at Meydan’s opening meeting on Thursday.

Antonio Fresu rode the first two winners before Brazilian Bernardo Pinheiro completed the three-timer for the Emirati trainer in the silks of three different owners.

Fresu bagged the first two prizes on board Atlantic Sky and Just You Wait in the colours of Saeed Sultan Al Rahoomi and Naser Askar. Pinheiro took the penultimate race atop Fathi Egziama’s Gentile Bellini.

Pinheiro brought Gentile Bellini from a long way back to win from stable companion Alkaamel to deny Fresu a treble.

“I knew my horse was fit and would be staying on as he is probably better over further. It was a good performance,” the winning jockey said of the five-year-old son of Dubawi.

Richard Mullen on Scots Pine made all the running to come home a comfortable winner over Doug Watson’s Verbotem in the night’s feature prize to hand trainer Beverley Deutrom her first win of the season.

The 1,400m conditions contest, a new race this season, was restricted to horses purchased at the Emirates Racing Authority (ERA) in Dubai Sales staged in September 2020 or 2021, as well as April 2021.

UAE trainer Mahmoud Al Zarooni returned for Meydan’s opening meet after eight-year ban. Cedric Lane for The National

It attracted a field of just five and Mullen, riding in the colours of Sayed Hashish and Hana Refai, went straight to the front, stalked by Melicertes. When that rival weakened about 275m out the result was never in doubt.

“Hopefully he is going to turn out a bargain and we thought dirt would suit him though he has good turf form,” part-time owner Hashish said of the Dh35,000 purchase in the September 2020 Dubai sales.

“He had sore shins last season so he had excuses and it is great to get a winner early on.”

Watson dominated the rated conditions race, saddling the first two home with Sam Hitchcott guiding Uncle Hamed to deny stable companion Mcmanaman under Pat Dobbs in the dying strides.

“Uncle Hamed has really matured and filled out and this looked a logical first race for him although the 1,200m was sharp enough,” Watson said three-year-old Tapiture gelding.

“Mcmanaman will probably also be better over further and was a bit keen early on which probably cost him close home but I am delighted both ran so well.”

Denied aboard Mcmananan, Dobbs tasted victory in the following 2,000m rated conditions stakes, with a hard fought success on Al Qaqaa to complete a double for Watson, and take the Red Stables trainer’s tally to seven in three meetings.

Satish Seemar and Tadhg O’Shea took the concluding prize with Zero To A Hundred. The Dubawi gelding was shedding his maiden tag at the eighth attempt.

Meanwhile, former Godolphin trainer Mahmoud Al Zarooni’s two runners – Major Cinnamon and Midnight Deal – both finished second from last in the two races.

It was Al Zarooni’s first two runners since returning to the racecourse as a trainer for the first time in more than eight years, banned for a doping case after the British Horseracing Association disciplinary committee found him guilty in April 2013.


7pm: Maiden (TB) Dh 82,500 (Dirt) 1,400m; Winner: Atlantic Sky, Antonio Fresu (jockey), Musabah Al Muhairi (trainer)

7.30pm: Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (D) 2,000m; Winner: Just You Wait, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

8pm: Rated Conditions (TB) Dh95,000 (D) 1,200m; Winner: Uncle Hamed, Sam Hitchcock, Doug Watson

8.30pm: Rated Conditions (TB) Dh95,000 (D) 2,000m; Winner: Al Qaqaa, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson

9pm: Conditions (TB) Dh100,000 (D) 1,400m; Winner: Scots Pine, Richard Mullen, Beverley Deutrom

9.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh95,000 (D) 1,600m; Winner: Gentile Bellini, Bernado Pinheiro, Musabah Al Muhairi

10pm: Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (D) 1,600m; Winner: Zero To A Hundred, Tadhg O’Shea, Satish Seemar

Updated: November 05, 2021, 11:34 AM