Spotlight on juveniles, seasoned campaigners - GulfToday

Spotlight on juveniles, seasoned campaigners

Spotlight on juveniles, seasoned campaigners

Doug Watson saddles three of the opposition seemingly headed by Big Brown Bear, the choice of stable jockey Pat Dobbs.

DUBAI: Racing at Meydan returns on Thursday evening when, for the very first time, the world-famous racecourse hosts the initial meeting of the UAE season, kicking off the 2019-20 campaign with a six-race card.

The entire sextet will be contested over the same dirt surface as March’s Group 1 $12 million Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline, which is also the sponsor of the entirety of the opening night meeting.

The evening is highlighted by two Dhs185,000 handicaps, but the most anticipated race is arguably the first of the season, the Emirates Holidays (Race 1 at 6:30 pm), a 2-year-old maiden event over 1200m for the classic generation of 2020 that features seven aspiring juveniles.

Won last year by Phoenix Ladies Syndicate’s Ahmad Bin Harmash-trained eventual 2000 Guineas Trial winner Walking Thunder, this year’s edition is led by the same connections’ Mambo Mischief, a son of one of the top dirt sires in the world, Into Mischief, who was purchased for $150,000 at the OBS April sale in Ocala, Florida.

Also creating some buzz is Cosmo Kramer, from the same connections that provided 2017 Al Bastakiya winner Cosmo Charlie, who will have the services of Pat Dobbs for trainer Doug Watson.

The Munnings colt is a son of Puerto Rican champion Gabbywitha G. “He tired when trialling, but went well enough,” Watson said.

“We have been pleased with him since and it will be interesting to see how he goes, but he looks really well.”

Also lining up will be Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Nicholas Bachalard-trained Laa Baas, a well-intended Tattersalls Craven Breeze-Up Sale purchase in April who will be ridden by Tadhg O’Shea, the new stable rider for Jebel Ali.

The Oxbow colt is the first foal out of Charlies Love, an unplaced Indian Charlie half-sister to Mendip, winner of six races, five on Tapeta at Meydan and headlined by his 2012 victory in Al Maktoum Challenge R2 (Group 2).

Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum’s silks will be carried by Royston Ffrench for Salem Bin Ghadayer aboard Attribution, a Competitive Edge colt also sourced at the Ocala Spring Sale, where he cost $180,000.

Intriguing Satish Seemar pupil Barack Beach, a son of the wickedly quick Daredevil from a strong sprinting family, will have Richard Mullen in the irons. Barack Beach is owned by H and B, who also have Ali Rashid Al Rayhi-trained Al Modayar, who will have Fernando Jara in the saddle.

Helal Al Alawi-trained Puzzle Elegance completes the field with Pat Cosgrave back in town from Australia to ride. The first of two featured handicaps, the over 2000m (Race 4 at 8:15 pm), looks particularly competitive with a field of 11 declared, including Top Clearance.

Representing the aforementioned new alliance at Sheikh Ahmed’s Jebel Ali Stables of Nicholas Bachalard and UAE Champion Jockey Tadhg O’Shea, the 7-year-old gelding had won twice in his native US, where his final start was a fifth-place finish in the 2015 Haskell Invitational Stakes (Grade 1) behind Triple Crown-winning superstar American Pharoah.

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