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.
"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.