For The Top lands Listed prize for his first local success in eight starts

The Grade 1 winner in Argentina now planning another crack at Dubai World Cup Carnival prize

Antonio Fresu rides For The Top to win the Listed The Entisar at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday, December 2, 2021. Photo: ERA

For The Top ended his winless run in eight local starts with an impressive victory in the Listed The Entisar at Meydan’s third race meeting on Thursday.

With Antonio Fresu in the saddle, the six year old by Equal Stripes took up the running approaching the final bend to win by four lengths from Remorse over the 2,000-emtre distance.

The first two went clear on the home stretch with the third-placed Saltarin Dubai a further 12 lengths back in third. The 2019 UAE Derby winner Plus Que Parfait could not land a blow when finishing fifth.

For The Top now, running in the silks of RRR Racing, was originally campaigned in his native Argentina, where he was a Grade 1 winner, before joining Bob Baffert in the States where he failed to win in three starts.

He then joined Salem bin Ghadayer, again failing to add to a pair of South American victories. This was just his second start for Musabah Al Muhairi, having finished well beaten on the Abu Dhabi turf 18 days ago.

“We knew he was in good form and had progressed a lot since Abu Dhabi,” Al Muhairi, who was winning this prize for the third time, said.

“If you look back he has very good form both in Argentina and here at Meydan behind horses like Benbatl [the Godolphin runner in the Group 2 Singspiel Stakes on turf at the Dubai World Cup Carnival].

“He seemed to lose his way a bit last season and I was delighted to be asked to train him by the owners. We will probably stick to dirt races at the carnival, though he has decent turf form also.”

Doug Watson’s local debutant Everfast, under stable jockey Pat Dobbs, took the meeting’s main support race half an hour later.

Twice successful in the United States, The Take Charge gelding was having his first run in more than 11 months for his new handler and owner Kildare Stud’s Frankie O’Connor.

“It is nice to get one on the board as it had been a bit of a disappointing evening up to now,” Watson said of his winner in the seven-race card.

“Pat gave him a great ride and, off a break and under a big weight, it was a very pleasing performance.”

Ahmad bin Harmash saddled a double on the night with two different jockeys. The Emirati trainer was successful with Mujeer ridden by Omani apprentice Saif Al Balushi in the second race and his stable jockey Ray Dawson steered Mudallel to victory in the fourth race.

“This horse Mujeer had been working very well and Saif knows him well as he rides him in the mornings. That was a very pleasing start to his career,” Bin Harmash said.

Mudallel was winning his third local prize and Dawson said: “He deserved that after two good Jebel Ali runs this season and he has really battled for me when I needed him to.”

Results

7pm Abu Dhabi — Conditions (PA) Dh 80,000 (Dirt) 1,600m

Winner Only Smoke, Patrick Cosgrave (jockey), Abdallah Al Hammadi (trainer)

7.30pm Dubai — Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (D) 1,400m

Winner Mujeer, Saif Al Balushi, Ahmad bin Harmash

8pm Sharjah — Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (D) 1,600m

Winner Tapitution, Tadhg O’Shea, Bhupat Seemar

8.30pm Ajman — Handicap (TB) Dh82,500 (D) 2,200m

Winner Mudallel, Ray Dawson, Ahmad bin Harmash

9pm Umm Al Quwain — The Entisar — Listed (TB) Dh132,500 (D) 2,000m

Winner For The Top, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

9.30pm Ras Al Khaimah — Rated Conditions (TB) Dh95,000 (D) 1,600m

Winner Everfast, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson

10pm Fujairah — Handicap (TB) Dh87,500 (D) 1,200m

Winner Rich And Famous, Royston Ffrench, Salem bin Ghadayer

Updated: December 3rd 2021, 8:45 AM