Bhupat Seemar bids to follow Dubai World Cup double by landing UAE trainers' title

Zabeel Stables boss is level with Jebel Ali's Michael Costa heading into last two meetings of season

Trainer Bhupat Seemar and Tadhg O'Shea celebrate with the trophy after winning the Dubai World Cup. Reuters
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Bhupat Seemar’s career-best season can get even better this week if he can finish with a flourish and claim his second UAE trainers' championship.

Taking charge of the Zabeel Stables from his uncle Satish Seemar, he won the title in his first year in 2022. He was second behind Doug Watson last year and is now on course to reclaim the crown after a glorious Group 1 double on Dubai World Cup night.

Seemar became the first local trainer to achieve that special feat as Laurel River scooped the $12 million main prize after Tuz had stormed to victory in the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen earlier in the evening.

Going into the Dubai World Cup meeting, Seemar was less focused on the trainers' title, but those exceptional results have put it very much back on his agenda.

He is currently tied with Michael Costa on 36 winners apiece going into the last two meetings, in Abu Dhabi on Thursday and Al Ain on Friday.

The two meetings are predominantly for Purebred Arabians but include three prizes for thoroughbreds, in which both Seemar and Costa have runners.

Seemar is sending out 11 runners against the three from Costa, who set the pace all the way until the Zabeel Stables trainer pulled level last Saturday.

Tadhg O’Shea, Zabeel’s retained jockey, is the champion-elect as he awaits confirmation of his 12th UAE jockeys' title. He’s on 49 winners, seven clear of his closest challenger Connor Beasley, who has returned to the UK for the English season.

But having ridden winners in the Dubai World Cup and in the Golden Shaheen, O’Shea is now extra motivated to get Seemar to the top of the trainers' leaderboard.

“With two meetings left and three thoroughbred races, we'll be going all out, hopefully to get Bhupat a couple of winners,” the Irishman said.

“It will be an amazing way to end the season. If he could be champion trainer in what was already an outstanding season, and the best to date for myself and Bhupat.”

O’Shea rides Fall Of Home from Seemar’s four entries in the 0-70 handicap and King Ottoman in the Listed Abu Dhabi Championship on Thursday.

King Ottoman was unplaced on his UAE debut behind the Dubai World Cup hero Laurel River before finishing a close second behind Daramethos in the Listed Jebel Ali Stakes.

The five-year-old son of the 2008 Dubai World Cup winner Curlin has won twice in 13 starts back in the United States. Franz Strauss, ridden by Patrick Cosgrave, and Western Writer (Qais Al Busaidi) are the two other chances for Zabeel in a 14-runner field.

Costa, the Jebel Ali Stables trainer, is double handed with Ahzeem (Adrie de Vries) and Keffaaf (Oscar Chavez) in the race.

O’Shea is atop Ghost Of The Mambo from the four Zabeel entries in the 0-80 Handicap run over the 1,600-metre distance in the final meeting of the season at Al Ain on Friday.

The seven-year-old Ghostzapper gelding hasn’t won in eight starts this season. He has finished runner-up, third and twice placed fourth but the drop in class could work out.

Poster Paint (Qais Al Busaidi), Perfect Balance (Saif Al Balushi) and Al Maroom (Marcelino Rodriguez) complete Zabeel’s quartet against Costa’s Moojdee (Johnatan Castano Mateus) in the 15-runner field.

Updated: April 04, 2024, 3:21 AM