Horse racing

Purebred Arabians take centre stage at Meydan

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on November 18, 2020
RB Money To Burn during Round 1 of the Al Maktoum Challenge in January this year. — Dubai Racing Club

A full field of 15 will be at the starting gates for the Group 2 contest on Thursday

The racecard is stacked with quality as racing returns to the iconic Meydan Racecourse for the ninth meeting of the season and second at the track on Thursday night.

And while there are seven races lined-up, six of them for thoroughbreds, it is the Purebred Arabians that is the centerpiece of the evening.

A full field of 15 will be at the starting gates to get things off in what is a Group 2 contest to be run over seven furlongs.

And leading the line is RB Money To Burn, saddled by Eric Lemartinel. The five-year-old mare from Majd Al Arab, has the highest official rating of 117 and has five wins from seven starts.

Her previous and only run at Meydan saw RB Money To Burn land Round 1 of the Al Maktoum Challenge in January this year.

“She is doing very well in her training and she really has a nice chance,” said Lemartinel.

RB Money To Burn will face a challenge from AF Alwajel, the mount of seven-time UAE Champion Jockey Tadhg O’Shea and AF Alwajel’s stablemate AF Al Sajanjle, trained by Ernst Oertel.

“Our horses are on the whole in good form and running well which is obviously a positive sign. These are two good horses and it is exciting to have two good shots at a big race,” said Oertel.

AF Al Sajanjle will be the ride of Antonio Fresu.

Like Oertel, Doug Watson, a six-time UAE Champion Trainer, is double-handed along with Majed Al Jahoori, Ahmed Al Mehairbi and Khalifa Al Neyadi.

Watson has Sauternes Al Maury and Bon Baiser De Faust.

The highlight among the thoroughbreds is a conditions race, the fifth race on the card, and which carries a prize purse of Dh 120,000.

And Watson, who recorded twin hat-tricks at the historic Jebel Ali Racecourse, has a trio of runners in the eight-horse field and to be run across eight furlongs.

Patrick Cosgrave partners Thegreatcollection, while Galvanize is the mount of Sam Hitchcott. Patrick Dobbs elects to ride Fanaar.

“It is good to have Pat back obviously and he picked Fanaar who has had a run whereas this looks a good spot to get the other pair going. All three are in good form and go there with some kind of chance in an open race,” Watson said.

Reigning UAE Champion Trainer Satish Seemar has George Villiers, the mount of O’Shea.

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