Matinee glory for Barzalona and Overmeire at Meydan

The joint feature of the afternoon was the 2,410m Fazaa Gold Handicap which was also won by Barzalona aboard Deciduous

by

Leslie Wilson Jr

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Stormy Ocean and Mickael Barzalona winning the Fazaa Platinum handicap for trainers Simon and Ed Crisford at Meydan Racecourse on Sunday. — DHRIC
Stormy Ocean and Mickael Barzalona winning the Fazaa Platinum handicap for trainers Simon and Ed Crisford at Meydan Racecourse on Sunday. — DHRIC

Published: Sun 12 Feb 2023, 8:59 PM

Simon and Ed Crisford continue to pick out their targets as Stormy Ocean delivered a third success of the campaign for the father and son pairing when winning the nine-furlong Fazaa Platinum handicap at Sunday’s matinee meeting at Meydan Racecourse.

Highly regarded for having an eye for top-class horses, Crisford Sr. already has a serious Dubai World Cup probable in training at the Millennium 1 Stables that overlook the iconic racecourse.


With Algiers having shot into close favouritism for the March 25 showpiece following impressive victories in rounds 1 and 2 of the Al Maktoum Challenge, the Crisfords will be happy with the way Stormy Ocean is progressing through the ranks in Dubai.

A well-bred son of racing superstar Frankel, the Rabbah Racing-owned colt caught the eye when holding off Franz Kafka by three-quarters of a length under former Dubai World Cup-winning rider Mickael Barzalona, who is Godolphin’s retained jockey in France.


Formerly trained by Charlie Appleby for Godolphin, the winner was having his first start for his new trainers.

Barzalona, on board for the first time, was impressed and said: “That was the first time I have ridden him in a race and he was perhaps travelling too strongly early on but he has finished his race off well. Hopefully, there is more to come from him as he is a nice, promising, horse.

The joint feature of the afternoon was the 2,410m Fazaa Gold Handicap which was also won by Barzalona aboard Deciduous for Emirati handler Salem bin Ghadayer.

It was a third success for the four-year-old gelded son of Dubawi and Barzalona indicated that he looked to have a bright future.

“I was always travelling very well and tried to go inside but the gap closed so I had to change plan and switch outside,” said the French rider, who won the Dubai World Cup in 2012 with Monterosso.

“Once in the clear he really picked up and won well. You would like to think he can build on that as he has not had much racing.”

The meeting began with a pair of maiden races the first of which, the Fazaa Senior Citizen handicap over 1,900m, was won by Jebel Ali Stables’ galloper, Torrkee.

Ridden confidently by Jean Van Overmeire for the stable’s Australian handler Michael Costa, Torrkee snapped a nine-race losing streak on his fifth turf start.

Costa and Overmeire were back in the winner’s enclosure thirty minutes later following the runaway success of Alhzeem in the Fazaa Discount handicap.

A five-year-old gelded son of Liam’s Map, Alhazeem destroyed the opposition to cross the finished line nine lengths clear of second-placed Arabian Gazelles.

Antonio Fresu, who could only admire Alhzeem’s breathtaking performance on that occasion, claimed his share of the afternoon’s spoils when Falsehood landed the Fazaa Silver handicap for trainer Musabbeh Al Mheiri.

The seven-year-old son of 2014 European Horse of the Year Kingman, was notching his second win for the stable.

Race fans who may have left the track early will be disappointed to know that the sixth and final race of the day produced an absolute thriller, with three horses crossing the line in a blanket finish.

Bernardo Pinheiro and Ra’Ad prevailed by a neck from Saadeed who was hoping to make it a special day for Jebel Ali Stables’ handler Costa and Ovemaire.

In third place on the line were Chosen Mark and Brazilian apprentice Marcelino Rodrigues.

The next meeting at Meydan is on Friday, February 17, where the highlights are three Group 3 contests – the Nad Al Sheba Trophy, UAE Oaks, and Dubai Millennium Stakes.


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