Michael Costa racked up an impressive treble, including the two most valuable prizes of the meeting – the Listed Al Garhoud Sprint and the Mirdiff Stakes – in the seven-race card at Meydan on Friday.
The Australian, who took charge of Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid’s Jebel Ali Stables in the new season, made an immediate impact by saddling a double and a third on his first day at the Jebel Ali Racecourse.
Costa’s treble at Meydan took his tally to 10 winners, and they were ridden by three different jockeys in the absence his stable rider Jean van Overmeire.
Dane O’Neill was in the saddle for No 1, as Tahdeed produced a late run to collar Royston Ffrench on Down On Da Bayou by a length and-a-half in the third race.
Mouheeb under Ray Dawson completed the double by taking the Listed Al Garhoud Sprint two races later.
Dawson raced in fourth before producing a run on the 2021 UAE 2000 Guineas hero on the home stretch to snatch victory on the final 50 metres from Richard Mullen and Tuz also by a length and-a-half.
In fact, Mouheeb was Costa’s first winner in the UAE when he landed the Shadwell Handicap over the same trip at Jebel Ali’s opening meeting of the season on October 29.
Costa didn’t have to wait long in completing his first treble in the country when Seyouff under Antonio Fresu ran an impressive winner of the Mirdif Stakes 35 minutes later.
The three year old Flatter colt was runner up over the track and trip on his racecourse debut on November 25 and appeared to have benefited from that outing.
Drawn widest of the eight-runner field, Fresu had to come wide around the front runners to storm to the front and cross the finishing line a length and-a-quarter in front of Sharp Army and Long Kiss, both winners of their last starts.