Plavius shows promise

Friday's feature race at Jebel Ali, a mile handicap, was won by the unexposed Plavius in the hands of crowd favourite Willie Supple.
Plavius raced to victory at Jebel Ali in the mile handicap.
Plavius raced to victory at Jebel Ali in the mile handicap.

DUBAI// Friday's feature race at Jebel Ali, a mile handicap, was won by the unexposed Plavius in the hands of crowd favourite Willie Supple. "He could be a nice horse and has done that nicely," said Supple. Formerly with Godolphin, he is now trained by Abdulla Bin Huzaim but still has some way to go to justify his US$9.2m (Dh33.8m) price tag. Thursday's meeting at Nad Al Sheba included the first two turf races on the track this season on a night dominated by horses from Saudi Arabia. The trainer Jerry Barton, based in Riyadh, saddled Noble Bedouin to win the first grass race, a 10-furlong handicap, before winning the featured sprint on the dirt track. The winner of that, Big City Man looks sure to play a leading role in UAE sprints this season.

Assistant trainer Stephane Chevalier, representing Barton, said: "Obviously it was a great night and we thought both would run well - but did not expect both to win." Doug Watson's T-Bird won the final race, the other turf handicap which was a mile and the Champion Trainer continued in similar vein at Jebel Ali yesterday afternoon - providing three of the seven winners. Alsadeek, Jackson and Lord Ego were the horses in question.

Watson said: "The horses have been in really good form recently and we tend to do well at this time of year. Jebel Ali has always been a lucky track for us - long may it continue!" Stable jockey Fernando Jara missed out on Alsadeek who was partnered by Daragh O'Donohoe but did ride the other pair - before completing his own treble in the concluding sprint on Adi Selvaratnam's Tulipa Di Job. Jara added: "I like this track even though it is totally different to what am used to in America and Panama."

The afternoon's feature race, a mile handicap, was won by the unexposed Plavius in the hands of crowd favourite Willie Supple who said: "He could be a nice horse and has done that nicely." Formerly with Godolphin, he is now trained by Abdulla Bin Huzaim but still has some way to go to justify his US$9.2m (Dh33.8m) price tag. Next Thursday is the opening meeting of the 2009 $31m Dubai International Racing Carnival and he will at least get a chance to re-coup some of that figure.

jsullivan@thenational.ae

Published: January 9, 2009 04:00 AM

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