DUBAI // Only two trainers visited the winner’s enclosure at Jebel Ali on Friday, with Satish Seemar saddling a quartet and Musabah Al Muhairi claiming the other pair on an afternoon in which Russian Rock and Farrier shared the limelight.
Trained by Al Muhairi, course specialist Russian Rock won over 1,000m for a seventh time at Jebel Ali, where he also boasts a win over 1,200m, conceding weight to six rivals on his seasonal return.
Hitting the front about 300m out under stable jockey Wayne Smith, the pair stormed up the hill and were giving a rousing reception by the appreciative crowd.
“He normally needs his first run and improves a lot for it, so that was very pleasing indeed,” Smith said. “At halfway, I was hopeful, as I could see a few in trouble, but I was a bit concerned he would tire in the last 100m, but he just kept on going.
“The Jebel Ali Sprint is one of his main targets, but we have to look at the Meydan Carnival, also, as he has won there on Tapeta and goes well on their straight turf track.”
A winner on the same card last year, over 1,800m, stable companion Funon was again in winning form 12 months on, this time breaking the 1,400m track record with Dane O’Neill in the saddle.
The rest of the card belonged to Seemar, with apprentice Marc Monaghan opening the handler’s account on Gold Pearl in a 1,400m handicap – the pair repeating their victory in a similar race at the same meeting last season.
Better was to come for the trainer with stable jockey Richard Mullen aboard his other three winners, highlighted by Farrier, who beat four rivals in a 1,950m conditions race, the official highlight on the card. It was only the winner’s seventh career start, and he certainly appears progressive and Mullen was delighted.
“Driving here, I thought I would have a few winners, so it is nice to win this one,” he said. “Farrier is a horse we have always liked and we think has more to offer.
“The Jebel Ali Stakes over this course and distance very much has to be a target this season – especially with Treble Jig now in Saudi Arabia and we’re not able to try and win the race a record third time.”
Mullen was soon back in the winner’s enclosure, steering Moonlight Dash to victory in the following 1,600m handicap, denying Monaghan a double on stable companion Royal Revival.
“He, too, has not had that much racing and does not know how to run a bad race,” Mullen said.
Their day finished in the best fashion with the local debut of Calculated, who was too good for seven rivals in the 1,200m maiden.
“It has been a great afternoon and hopefully Calculated can build on this,” Seemar said. “Farrier, we have always liked, and Gold Pearl could be a Jebel Ali Mile horse.”