Author: Duane Fonseca
ZABEEL STABLES’ BOSS Satish Seemar has accepted an invite to run stable star North America in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile. The 8yo Dubawi gelding has been a flagbearer for Seemar’s operation over the past two seasons and returns to an event in whose 2017 renewal he placed tenth behind Second Summer. Owned by Ramzan Kadyrov, North America has thereafter twice run in the Group 1 Dubai World Cup where he finished tenth and then seventh behind Thunder Snow on both occasions in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
A multiple Group level winner, Seemar’s powerfully built trainee landed his most prized success in the form of the 2018 Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge R3 when he beat Thunder Snow by a massive five and a quarter lengths. In his two starts this term, North America placed third behind Kimbear in the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge R1 but faded behind Maximum Security in the inaugural running of the Saudi Cup at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Saudi Arabia. His conditioner confirmed he has returned well from the race and is currently in quarantine after which he will begin preparations for the Godolphin Mile. “Everybody knows North America. He had a first run and after that I made it clear that a sharp object had entered one of his legs and that caused an injury, but he has recovered well from it and is in good form,” Seemar told Al Adiyat.
“He has returned well from Saudi Arabia and is currently undergoing quarantine and will be returned to training. As far as his future races go, we have accepted an invitation to run him in the Godolphin Mile on Dubai World Cup day and will stick with that. He is in good form and after quarantine we will start to prepare him for his event on 28 March.” Seemar is also hopeful his Listed Al Bastakiya winner Emblem Storm and stablemate, the second placed Tuz, get the nod for the Group 2 UAE Derby, which is the course and distance equivalent of the aforementioned Super Saturday contest.
Ridden by Oisin Murphy, Emblem Storm and Tuz, the ride of Tadhg O’Shea, finished ahead of Godolphin’s third placed UAE 1000 Guineas winner Dubai Love, with three and three-quarters of a length and two lengths the respective margins between the trio. Likewise, Seemar is keen for Wafy and Leading Spirit to be given spots in the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen after their 1-2 in the course and distance prep Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal. O’Shea brought Wafy out of nowhere from virtually the back of the field to the front after the field turned for home with the big 5yo Dubawi gelding using his long stride to devastating effect and taking a three-quarter length victory. Seemar said: “My horses ran great. The only thing left for Emblem Storm this season is to run in the UAE Derby so he’ll go there but we will wait for the invites to come in.
Normally, the winner and second get invited for the races and we hope that both horses get their chance. “Wafy was purchased in an English sale and started with us at Jebel Ali last time. Honestly, I was going to be a little easier on him to be kind, but the owner pushed me to run him here and I’m glad I did. “Tuz was our dark horse; our secret weapon. Wafy performed exceptionally well.” Murphy, who sneaked along the inside to win aboard Emblem Storm, felt he didn’t have to do much during the 1900m run. “He is a very straightforward horse to ride and may not be the biggest, but he is all heart,” the Irish rider said. O’Shea, who rode Tuz to second and then won with a crafty ride aboard Wafy, added: “Wafy is just a very progressive horse, but, to be honest, we did not really know what to expect because this was just his second run in a sprint. He was a bit caught out for tactical speed early on, but he really picked up in exciting fashion in the straight. I assume he will go to the big night.
“Tuz is a lovely horse and he would be a lovely ride in the Derby come World Cup night. He has been training really well. Satish and Bhupat had a strong hand in this race, but they have always liked this horse a lot and I think this is the first time he has had to street fight, so he is going to improve and go forward from this.”