Mark Of Approval hands trainer Mahmood Hussain biggest win of career at Jebel Ali

Jockey Patrick Cosgrave secures victory over Team Decision by a length-and-a-half

Mark of Approval, ridden by Patrick Cosgrave, won in Jebel Ali on Friday. Antonie Robertson / The National
Mark of Approval, ridden by Patrick Cosgrave, won in Jebel Ali on Friday. Antonie Robertson / The National

Mark Of Approval provided Bahraini trainer Mahmood Hussain his biggest career success when landing the Dh500,000 Listed Jebel Ali Stakes at the Jebel Ali racecourse on Friday.

Ridden by Patrick Cosgrave in the silks of Egyptian owner Sayed Hashish, the former Godolphin inmate took up the running in the final 50 metres to win from Team Decision by a length and-a-half with Chiefdom a further length and-a-half back in third.

“He’s a Godolphin horse and when we purchased him from the sales we knew he had the quality to win a prize like this,” Hussain said of his first Listed winner in 10 years as a trainer in the UAE.

“I was riding and then worked as assistant trainer before I got my trainer’s licence in Bahrain. We have around 17 horses at our stables in Sharjah and Mark Of Approval has given us a massive boost.

“This horse has run consistently well for us from the time we purchased him from the sales. He won his first start for us and thereafter he has finished third four times before today’s big win.

“The only problem is he’s a bit slow to start but he’s got a very strong finish. That’s what he did today. This was also his first run at Jebel Ali and probably the uphill finish here suited him.”

Cosgrave had to switch him outside the wall of horses to make his challenge but once he was on the clear, he made steady progress to collar the front two runners to the winning post.

“We were hopeful for a placing at least but he this was beyond the wildest dreams,” Hashish added.

“We’ll see how he’s come out of his race and how much he improves on his (88) rating to decide where he goes next. We would love to see him run on Super Saturday (March 7), provided he improves his rating significantly.”

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 21 FEBRUARY 2020. Horse racing at Jebel Ali. Jebel Ali Stakes, Race 4. Winner Nr 5 Mark of Approval, ridden by Patrick Cosgrave and trained by Mahmoud Hussain. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Antonie Robertson. Section: Sport..
Mark of Approval, ridden by Patrick Cosgrave, won on Friday. Antonie Robertson / The National

Musabah Al Muhairi saddled the first two home – AlKaraama (Anotnio Fresu) and Thamim (Crowley) in the Dh500,000 Listed Jebel Ali Sprint.

Salem bin Ghadayer racked up a treble on the day, including a dead-heat between his runner Attribution with Xavier Ziani atop and Nicholas Bachalard’s Raakez under Jim Crowley in the fifth race.

Ziani on Talento Puma also led a one-two finish for the Emirati trainer and Royston Ffrench rode Tailor’s Row to victory half hour later.

Updated: February 21, 2020 06:24 PM

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