Former Champion Trainer Satish Seemar and stable jockey Richard Mullen were the combination in form as UAE racing returned at a sunny Jebel Ali on Friday afternoon. The pair combined to land the featured 1000m conditions sprint, sponsored by Shadwell, with Escape Route, just 30 minutes after they had won the 1200m maiden with debutant Ibn Al Nafis, a regally-bred son of Distorted Humor.

Escape Route, sporting the green silks of Her Royal Highness Princess Haya, travelled strongly behind the lead in the sprint, before quickening impressively about 200m out to win readily. Ibn Al Nafis won the maiden by the minimum margin of a nose and showed great resolution having been denied a clear run over 200m out.

Mullen was delighted: "Escape Route has benefitted for the switch to the Emirates and has always had a lot of ability. I knew at halfway I would nearly win as he was going well and was always going to stay on strongly.

"Ibn Al Nafis had been going well enough at home and, considering he was hampered and ran green, that was a nice effort."

The opening race of the new campaign, a 1200m handicap, was won by Champion Trainer Doug Watson with Alsadeek who sports the colours of Malih Al Basti and was ridden by Tadhg O'Shea. Watson said: "That is a great start to the season."

O'Shea was to complete a double when partnering the Ali Rashid Al Raihe-trained Estidhaaf to win the 1400m handicap, while Carlos Sanchez opened his UAE account in the 1600m handicap on the Abdulla bin Huzaim-trained Seeking An Alibi.

The concluding 1950m handicap was won by Wayne Smith on Seabow, trained by his main employer Musabah Al Muhairi to round off a great return to local action.

Sharjah on Saturday and Abu Dhabi on Sunday are the next two fixtures.