Musabah Al Muhairi celebrated his birthday with a double at Meydan’s second meeting on Friday to get off the mark for the season.
The Emirati trainer’s stable jockey, Antonio Fresu, rode Raaeb to victory in the handicap run over the 1,400-metre trip for horses rated 90 to 105, before Adrie de Vries won the concluding handicap on Falsehood to complete the double.
Raaeb, making his dirt debut after four turf starts at Meydan last season, looked a natural on the surface. The homebred five year old, in the silks of Shadwell, powered clear in the final 200m to come home three and-a-half lengths clear of Island Rule in the most valuable prize of the seven-race card.
“That is great to have a winner on my birthday and this is a nice new horse to have in the yard and one we hope to campaign at the carnival. He obviously handled the dirt and we have turf options with him also,” Al Muhairi said.
Previously trained by Saeed bin Suroor for Godolphin, Raaeb won three times on all-weather surfaces in Britain and also has a turf victory to his name, so is clearly versatile regarding underfoot conditions. He has now scored twice over both 1,400m and 1,200m, as well as registering a victory over 1,000m.
Al Muhairi was back in the winner’s enclosure in the 1,600m handicap after De Vries led close home aboard Falsehood for Hamad Ali Hamad Al Hamroor.
UAE champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea and trainer Doug Watson also completed doubles on the night.
O’Shea grabbed the opener, the Group 2 Baniyas for Purebred Arabians, atop the Ernst Oertel-trained AF Alajaj for UAE champion owner Khalid Khalifa Al Naboodah.
The Irishman completed the double onboard Bhupat Seemar’s Ranaan in the fourth race to take his tally to seven wins for the season, two more than Pat Dobbs and Dane O’Neill.
Dobbs bagged the first of the six prizes that was on offer for the thoroughbreds on Watson’s Awasef.
A daughter of Cairo Prince, Awasef always had the eventual runner-up, Here We Are, in her sights and probably won with plenty more to offer had it been required.
“She is still learning and green so I wanted an early lead and something to aim at. It worked out perfectly,” Dobbs said after taking the 1,200m maiden for the two year old fillies.
Watson then combined with Sam Hitchcott to bring home Qareeb to lead close home and snatch victory by a length from Twelfthofneverland (O’Shea) by a length.
The four year old Speightstown colt was registering his third career success and first locally at the fifth attempt on his second Meydan appearance this season having finished fourth over 2,000m seven days ago.