Author: Duane Fonseca

A DAY after winning his first UAE Champion Trainer’s title in over a decade, Satish Seemar had already started to plan ahead. For men with an ambition such as that of the Zabeel Stables supremo, spending too much time basking in past glories is just a waste of time. They’d rather look forward and that’s exactly what Seemar does. With the season having ended rather abruptly due to the Emirates Racing Authority’s decision to pull the plug on the 2019/20 campaign, days ahead of the Dubai World Cup, due to the Coronavirus pandemic that has virtually ground things to a halt worldwide, Seemar was adjudged an early winner. The writing had been on the wall for a long, long time and not even Doug Watson in second would have had a complaint about how it all ended with Seemar pulling nine clear of the former’s 36 winners after the books were updated following last Friday’s Jebel Ali meeting.

Seemar was thrilled about winning and was full of praise for his Zabeel Stables personnel, including right hand man Bhupat Seemar. “It was a great season and I’m very proud of my team and we look forward to next year’s World Cup, next season, and to building towards that,” said Seemar, who snapped up a sixth Champion Trainer title, and a first since his last success during the 2006/07 campaign. “We are very proud of what we have achieved. It was a season with a lot of ups and downs due to the international Coronavirus pandemic, which affected one of the biggest day’s of racing in the world, but that’s life. It was very unfortunate but nothing can be done about it and the safety of everyone involved is crucial and I think it was a tough decision to make, but a good decision and we can all start planning and building towards next season and next year’s Dubai World Cup.

There is so much to look forward to.” Six race meetings were to follow beyond the Dubai World Cup, and while there may have been much to squabble over in the jockeys’ championship and the owners’ race where tadhg O’Shea and Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda were fighting hard to hold off the chasers, the trainers’ championship was virtually put to bed. Seemar won a number of prized events on the calendar this season. He won the Group 3 Dubawi Stakes and Al Shindagha Sprint with Gladiator King and unearthed a massive Group 2 UAE Derby contender in the form of Emblem Storm who landed the Listed Al Bastakiya on Super Saturday, a day which also saw Wafy produce what was perhaps the performance of the season in winning the Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal. “The season had been amazing for us and we had taken a good lead anyway.

I’m very proud of my team again, the entire staff and the owners who have given us their horses,” added Seemar. “The main difference was, I don’t know if you remember I told you two seasons ago, we were going through changes. The new sales had just started and new ownerships were coming in and those few years were a little bit of hard work, but I think over the last three to four years things have come together. “We have the right owners and people have bought the right horses and overall it’s great for Dubai racing and everyone in general. At the moment I have 36 owners and this is something I would call a big progression that’s been made by UAE racing and this is what HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum had envisioned for racing here.”

Seemar too is starting to look into the future and for him that would unquestionably mean battling to defend his title. He knows he will be the man they’ll hunt next term, and it is a challenge he will face with his sleeves rolled up. “I am very much looking forward to it all. To next year’s World Cup and the next season. It’s already started for me and it will be a little bit tough purchasing horses for next year and stocking up for the season, but it’s something that needs to be done. You need good, solid, younger horses that will progress and this is all progress that we’ve achieved and we have to help the ERA and Dubai Racing Club continue all this progress. “We have to play our part in moving continually racing forward.”