UAE racing season takes off in style at Meydan
Secret Trade, the six-year-old from Teofilo, made a late charge, just metres away from the winning post, to win the 10-furlong contest by a head
Secret Trade's brilliant heist, trainer Satish Seemar, jockey Connor Beasley and owner Sayed Hashish's doubles marked the opening night of the UAE horse racing season at Meydan.
Secret Trade, saddled by Ali Rashid Al Rayhi and the mount of Sandro Paiva, pipped former UAE Champion Trainer Doug Watson's Grand Argentier to the post to land the emirates.com Handicap, one of the highlights of the six-race card at the iconic Racecourse on Thursday night.
Secret Trade, the six-year-old from Teofilo, made a late charge, just metres away from the winning post, to win the 10-furlong contest by a head.
It was Secret Trade's sixth win in 24 starts.
Meanwhile, Dubai-based Indian handler Seemar saw Barack Beach and Way of Wisdom win the opening two races of the evening - the Emirates Holidays Maiden and the Emirates SkyCargo Handicap. In fact, Seemar was delighted to seal a one-two-three in the second race.
Beasley too had a profitable night with the jockey winning on Way of Wisdom and Woodditton. Owner Hashish was pleased to see Barack Beach and Mark Of Approval win on the night.
Mark Of Approval won the other highlight race of the evening - the Emirates Airline Handicap, with Antonio Fresu onboard.
Earlier, Seemar and stable jockey Richard Mullen landed the first win of the season. The pair partnered to guide Barack Beach to victory in the Emirates Holidays Maiden.
Barack Beach, the two-year-old colt from Daredevil, won by 3.25 lengths over the Nicholas Bachalard-trained Laa Baas. Record seven-time UAE Champion Jockey Tadhg O'Shea, racing in the yellow silks of the Jebel Ali Stables for the first time, made a valiant attempt to make it a winning start with his new employers but was denied by Mullen.
Phoenix Ladies Syndicate could not repeat last year's feat as the Ahmad bin Harmash-saddled Mambo Mischief came third. Phoenix Ladies Syndicate had won this race last season with Walking Thunder.
"He's a nice horse, and in all fairness, he knows his job," Mullen said of Barack Beach.
Seemar then made a clean sweep of the second race on the card with him saddling the top three. Way Of Wisdom, the mount of Connor Beasley, won the Emirates SkyCargo Handicap, followed by Midlander, the ride of O'Shea.
Speedy Move, ridden by Mullen, was third.
Way Of Wisdom won by three lengths over Midlander, while Speedy Move was a further 4.75 lengths back.
Beasley then made it back-to-back wins as he staved off the challenge from Patrick Dobbs to guide Woodditton to the winning post.
Woodditton, the bin Harmash-trained four-year-old from Dark Angel, beat Mulfit, the charge of former UAE Champion Trainer Doug Watson, by 1.25 lengths.
Endless Gold, trained by Ali Rashid Al Rayhi, was quick out of the starting gates but quickly dropped down to third as Torno Subito did the early running. Torno Subito was followed by Jafar.
With 1000 metres to go, the positions remained the same before Mulfit and Torno Subito got locked into a thrilling battle with 500 metres left.
And it got even more intense with 200 metres left as Mulfit, Woodditton and Torno Subito jostled for position. Woodditton held the upper hand on Mulfit and fended off the challenge in the end, in a tight finish.
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