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07 Aug 2018
Issue Number: Issue 647
Seemar can only hope for another upward performance from North America
Dubai playing a key role in British racing, says Jockey Club boss
Busybody Tadhg looks to scale mountains after climbing Hills
Nass’ trial and error style seems to be working wonders for him
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Inter makes winning Connection


THE PENULTIMATE meeting of the Jebel Ali season last Friday afternoon was highlighted by a handicap over 1800m for which only six went to post and the impressive Interconnection led throughout. Sent straight to the head of affairs by Xavier Ziani, riding for trainer Salem bin Ghadayer who is enjoying a phenomenal season, he seemed to have the race settled a long way out with his five rivals coming under increasing pressure throughout the long Jebel Ali straight. Owned by Majed Ali Almarzooqui, Interconnection was winning for the second time this season, his first in the emirates, on his seventh local outing.

His previous win, on his penultimate start over the same course and distance, was achieved in similar fashion under the now sadly injured Royston Ffrench before seemingly finding the Jebel Ali Stakes a step beyond him. That, however, could be a realistic target next year according to Xiani who said: “He is a new horse for us this season and took a while to settle in. “His first runs were not that good but when we looked back at his UK form he seemed to run well in blinkers so we have put them on and it seems to have worked. “With a summer in the UAE under his belt, hopefully, he is going to be a very nice horse next season; it is a shame this campaign is finishing because he is really coming to himself and thriving.”

The action kicked off with a lesser 1800m handicap won in gritty fashion by Aridity, a chance spare ride for Bernardo Pinheiro who was a late replacement for Gerald Avranche who was indisposed. Trained by Rashed Bouresly, Aridity was winning for the first time in the UAE, at the ninth attempt and doubling his career tally in the process having also been victorious for Godolphin and Willie McCreery in May 2016 at Naas In Ireland. Never far off the pace, set by Pat Dobbs on Tradesman, Pinheiro drove his mount to the front 500m out and they never looked likely to be caught. Tradesman plugged on gamely to hold onto second but Aridity was a relatively comfortable winner.

Pinheiro said: “This is my first winner at Jebel Ali and third in my debut UAE season so I am very happy. “As a jockey this is a very competitive place to come so I have to be pleased with that. “The trainer and his staff told me this horse would run well and they were right so I am very grateful for the opportunity. “Jebel Ali is certainly very different to anything I have come across at home in Brazil, where I am from, and this is all invaluable experience.” Bouresly looked set to celebrate a quick double when Antonio Fresu sent his Call Sign to the front 400m from home in a 1400m handicap but they proved powerless to fend off Epsilon who led close home.

Reigning Champion Owner, Khalid Khaifa Al Nabooda, does not have many Thoroughbreds in training but Epsilon, prepared by Ernst Oertel, is one of them and was opening his local account at the 14th attempt, doubling his career haul in the process. Ridden by South African apprentice, Liam Tarentaal, who was registering a second winner of the young jockey’s first local campaign, Epsilon actually won quite comfortably in the end and Tarentaal said: “I am really enjoying my Dubai experience but will be off to China soon and then back to South Africa so it is great to get another winner on the board.

“These opportunities are so important for a young jockey, especially overseas, so I am very thankful to the connections for this chance.” Probably last of the ten runners at halfway, having seemingly been hampered at the start, Above Normal finished fast in a 1400m handicap to snatch the spoils in the final 100m and lead home a 1-2 for Satish Seemar. The winner, ridden by Antonio Fresu, made ultra smooth progress about 400m out, clearly relishing the furious early gallop set by Denzille Lane and Indescribable, both trained by Doug Watson for Mohd Khalifa Al Basti. They dominated the first half of the race but had no answer to Above Normal whose stable companion, Galesburg, then ran on strongly to take second without ever looking a likely winner.

Fresu said: “We had a bump coming out of the stalls which instantly put us out the back so I chose to stay in the middle of the track, out of any kickback. “The trainer warned me he could be a lazy horse so, basically, told me to never give up and that has, in the end, proved to be correct.” Stable jockey, Richard Mullen, may have picked the wrong one on that occasion, partnering Galesburg, but given four options in the concluding 1200m maiden, he certainly made the correct choice and was aboard Lavaspin who made it third time lucky in his fledgling career. Always prominent, he was ridden to lead about 300m from home and kept on strongly to deny Atta Alla who, when hitting the front shortly before under Jesus Rosales, had looked likely to complete a Bouresly double.

Mullen said: “We were certainly hopeful coming here today, especially back over 1200m as the 1400m last time probably taxed his stamina. “He is a nice, young horse who, we hope, can only improve as he gains more racecourse experience.” The 14 runners in a 1200m handicap managed to split into three groups and it was those who stayed on the far side who dominated, with Kowaiyess snaring Alraased, who tried to make all under Jim Crowley, in the final 75m. Kowaiyess, a course and distance winner on his penultimate start, a month ago, for Helal Al Alawi and the Al Rahoomi Racing Syndicate, was, as on that occasion, ridden confidently by Pat Cosgrave. Seemingly outstayed, back at Jebel Ali a fortnight earlier over 1600m, he clearly appreciated this return to sprinting and, once pulled off the rail to challenge 300m out, quickened in style and soon had his race won.

Al Alawi said: “We were very hopeful coming here today as we knew conditions suit him and he had continued in good form at home. “Pat has given him a great ride in a race the runners were spread all over the track so it is never easy to judge who is on top. Luckily Pat had it right and it was us!”

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