Friday, November 04, 2011


Al Raihe and Watson claim double victory at Jebel Ali


Dubai, UAE, November 4, 2011 – Champion Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe and the previous title holder Doug Watson were both in double form as racing returned to Dubai with a six race card at Jebel Ali on Friday afternoon.

Al Raihe's brace was highlighted by the win of Mujaazef in the featured 1000m handicap with Tadhg O'Shea in the saddle in the colours of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum whose Derrinstown Stud sponsored the race.


Former Champion Jockey O'Shea said: "It is always nice to get that first winner on the board and to do it in the feature is great. He ran some good races here last year and took his chance in the Jebel Ali Sprint but this is more his level."

Al Raihe promptly made it two with promising apprentice Saeed Al Mazrooei doubling his tally for the campaign on Five Cents, the horse who supplied him with his first ever career win last season, in the 1400m handicap.

The pair ran on too strongly for stable companion Zain Shamardal and assistant trainer Jilani Sidiqqui said: "That is a good result for the whole team and we hoped they would both run well. Saeed has done well again and his claim is useful in these handicaps. Zain Shamardal has made a nice local debut and the we are obviously pleased with Mujaazef."

O'Shea completed his own and Watson's double when Mushreq battled to deny Tesslam in the 1600m handicap. O'Shea tried to make all on Sheikh Hamdan's Mushreq but was definitely headed by Tesslam about 300m out. However, Watson's charge was not to be denied and was running away again by the time the line arrived.

O'Shea said: "He was very brave and we rode him positively as we know he stays further. When the other horse came to him he dug deep and did it nicely in the end."

Watson had also won the 1200m handicap with dirt debutant Kilt Rock who clearly relished the conditions under Wayne Smith. The trainer was obviously delighted to open his account for the season and said: "Our few runners at Abu Dhabi went well on Sunday so we were hoping for a good afternoon, especially after working most of this afternoon's runners here at Jebel Ali pre-season. It was Kilt Rock's first race on it but he worked nicely the other day and he seems to like it."

The Satish Seemar-trained Al Razi was the easy winner of the opening 1200m handicap with Richard Mullen looking confident throughout. Eased to the front 300m out, Al Razi idled close home but won well.

With Jebel Ali celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, it was fitting that racecourse patron His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, after three seconds earlier on the card, had a winner and Sarbola won the concluding 1600m maiden.

Trained on the track by Dhruba Selvaratnam, she was a first UAE winner for jockey James Doyle who said: "This is a great opportunity for me and I am very grateful to Sheikh Ahmed and Dhruba so it is brilliant to help them get a winner on such an important day. She travelled nicely and picked up well. Hopefully she can build on this and My Verse, Ancien Regime and Tesslam in particular ran well earlier on the card."



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