Mushir, ridden by jockey Buckell, gallops to victory.
Dubai - Apprentice jockey George Buckell pilot the five-year-old to a fine victory in the 1000-metre contest
The new horse racing season in the UAE got off to a flying start with champion owner Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance's Mushir landing the spoils in the Shadwell Farm Handicap, the feature race, at the Jebel Ali Racecourse, on Friday afternoon.
Apprentice jockey George Buckell piloted the five-year-old, the charge of Musabbeh Al Mheiri, to a fine victory in the 1000-metre contest. Drawn in Gate 5, it was a tight tussle between the lead pack before Mushir pulled away heading into the home stretch to win by 2.25 lengths over High On Life, ridden by Royston Ffrench.
Satish Seemar's Spin Cycle, the rider of Cameron Noble, was third.
It was Mushir's fourth win in 19 starts. "It is nice to start off with a win. We shall see how he goes during the season," trainer Musabbeh Al Mheiri said after the race.
Meanwhile, George Buckell said it was fantastic to start the season with a win.
"It is pretty amazing. There was a bit of traffic but he managed to turn around the corner," said the Londoner.
Trainer Satish Seemar nicked a winner and three third place finishes in the afternoon, while jockey Richard Mullen nicked a winner and two third places. Jockey Fernando Jara nicked a winner and a second place in the afternoon.
The Erwan Charpy-trained Tadmir got proceedings off to a start, winning the first race of the season - Commercial Bank of Dubai Handicap, with Antonio Fresu on board. The seven-year-old strode to a commanding victory, winning by six lengths over Tides Rise, ridden by Jara. It was Tadmir's fourth win in 21 starts. Jara then guided the Al Mheiri-trained Enery to a win in the Shadwell Handicap, run over 1600 metres. UAE Champion Trainer Doug Watson's Almohtaseb was second followed by Seemar's Pupil, the ride of Mullen, in third.
After the headlining race Shadwell Farm, Salvadori, the charge of Rashed Bouresly, won the Al Shafar Investment Maiden race, with Bruno Reis on board.
UAE Champion Jockey Tadhg O'Shea, who was booked for all six races in the card, finally got things going with a third place finish in the Al Shafar Investment.
He then followed it up with a second place in the Al Tal Handicap, contested over 1400 metres and won by Seemar's Secret Ambition. Secret Ambition gave Mullen his first winner as well.
"The first run is a winner so it could be a good omen," said Mullen.
Watson ended the evening with his Fast Enough, ridden by Patrick Dobbs, winning the last race on the card, the Serve u Handicap. "It is nice to get on the board. We have got enough good horses and a great team and looking forward to the rest of the reason," said Watson.