Oscar Chavez rides Military Law to victory in Maktoum Classic on Super Saturday

Musabah Al Muhairi’s Dubawi gelding has guaranteed spot in Dubai World Cup after win at Meydan

Oscar Chavez and Military Law clinch the Maktoum Classic at Meydan on Super Saturday. Photo: Dubai Racing Club
Powered by automated translation

Military Law produced a sensational run to claim his biggest career prize, the Dh1.7 million Group 2 Maktoum Classic Round 3, and a guaranteed spot in the Dubai World Cup at the Super Saturday meeting at Meydan.

Oscar Chavez had the nine-year-old Dubawi gelding placed in fourth before taking up the running approaching the final bend to gamely stay on over the last 500 metres to win from Tadhg O’Shea on Walk Of Stars by a length.

The Chad Summers-trained American raider Clapton with William Buick on board finished a further three and-a-half lengths back in third.

Military Law was runner up behind Matterhorn in this race in 2020 when it was run as the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3 and over the 2,000m Dubai World Cup trip. He was also unplaced behind Salute The Soldier last year.

“To come back and win this race and to earn a spot in the Dubai World Cup is really a stand-out performance from the old boy,” his Emirati trainer Musabah Al Muhairi, said.

“He always gives his best and, as he showed tonight, never lost his zest to race. We are absolutely thrilled and are now looking forward for a good run in the Dubai World Cup.”

Bhupat Seemar’s Laurel River was the most impressive winner on the night, coming home six and three-quarter lengths clear of his nearest rival in the Group 3 Burj Nahar and booking his spot in the Godolphin Mile on the Dubai World Cup night.

However, after his impressive victory, his connections may also consider running him at the $12 million Dubai World Cup.

“Well, after this win, I guess all options are open but obviously it would be for the owners to decide where he goes next,” Seemar said, when asked if Laurel River’s owners are thinking of having a crack at the big race itself.

“We’ll sit down for a chat and see where we're going to go from here. This horse came to us with a high profile, and he's now obviously put that to bed with a performance like that.”

Laurel River won three times after finishing runner-up on his racecourse debut when trained by Bob Baffert in the US.

He hadn’t raced for 516 days and was unplaced in his first start for Seemar in the Group 2 Al Shindagah Sprint over 1,200m.

“We ran him in this race as a prep and now I’m glad he showed what he showed over the mile trip,” the Zabeel trainer added.

“He does his work so easy. In his second last gallop, he worked seven furlongs in twenty four and he won't even blow a candle and his ears were pricked.”

The winning jockey O’Shea added: “He’s a horse with a lot of potential. We haven't gotten down to the end of him yet.

“Obviously, his next stop is the Godolphin Mile but I'm excited there's a discussion whether he could go for the Dubai World Cup itself. But first and foremost, I hope he comes out of this race fine and sound and healthy.”

Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby scooped three of the five prizes they had aimed for.

Buick steered Cinderella’s Dream, despite the saddle slip, to win the UAE 1,000 Guineas and Legend Of Time in the concluding Jumeirah Classic while Mickael Barzalona was onboard Bold Act to win the Group 2 Dubai City Of Gold in-between.

Updated: March 02, 2024, 7:36 PM