Shadwell’s Mubakker was the impressive winner of the DP World UAE Sprint at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday. (Photo provided)
Mubakker was particularly impressive, skipping a 245-day race break, to win the 1,200-meter DP World UAE Sprint.
Many clues from the 2022 Dubai World Cup Carnival were on offer as the Dubai Racing Club held their fourth meeting of the season where Shadwell scored a clever double courtesy with WinStar Farm’s star stallion, Speightstown.
At the forefront of his broodstock production each season, two of Speightstown’s descendants, Mubakker and Mogarrab. delivered top notch performances to join a shortlist of horses considered hopefuls for the carnival, which begins Jan. 13.
Mubakker was particularly impressive, skipping a 245-day racing break, to win the 1,200-meter DP World UAE Sprint at the hands of Shadwell’s jockey Dane O’Neil.
He was chased home by the duo formed by Musabeh Al Mheiri, On The Warpath and Vasari, but never seemed in danger.
“He’s a good sprinter who probably goes further, he could even go a mile,” said Watson of Mubakker. “He’s relaxing so well but we don’t have any plans with him yet.
“But look, he’s a great horse. He’s had his issues, he’s not a ballerina but he trains well and I thought we might be a little short with 60 kilos tonight but he ran well and gave us some confidence for bigger things to come. Maybe the Carnival.
O’Neill added, “Doug and his team have always loved him and I’ve won twice against him in England. He’s in really good form in the UK and handles that dirt really well.
“He stays at 1400m and has only done one grass run so I wouldn’t rule out trying it on the grass at some point. It was very pleasant tonight.
If Mubakker was impressive, so was Mogarrab, who pleased his jockey Antonio Fresu after taking home a four and a quarter length winner of the Jebel Ali Port Handicap in 1,400.
Unsuccessful since landing a high stakes rookie event on the Tapeta all-season track at Wolverhampton in 2018, Mogarrab has discovered a new vein of form in Meydan’s dirt as he made his way forward in the 300m marked and stretched in a promising style.
Fresu said: “He broke better today which was a big help as he can be clumsy at first and doesn’t help himself when he does.
“He traveled well today and, when I asked him, he accelerated well before staying solid. He stays at 1600m, has the speed of 1200m and goes on the grass, so there should be a lot of options and hopefully this victory will make his confidence the power of good.
Champion trainer Watson was finishing a brace after winning the 1,600-meter handicap Mina Rashid earlier in the evening with Sendeed, a horse who also appears to be heading to carnival.
It was only his fourth round for new connections and the second of this campaign after a pleasant fourth on his seasonal return to this Meydan 1600m.
Watson said: “We knew he had improved a lot for the summer on the back and he had a great race on his comeback so we came here with a lot of hope.
“It’s not the kind of horse you can put together quickly so we’ll be looking for something in January but under that weight it was a good win and Pat gave him a great ride.”
Meanwhile, Zabeel Stables handler Bhupat Seemar maintained his solid form with a pair of contrasting wins thanks to Al Maroom, a winner around the neck of the JAFZA Maiden and Discovery Island who concluded the proceedings by winning the final race of in the evening, Marfa Deira’s handicap over 1,200 meters.
“She came here with great luck and fully deserved it,” said apprentice Sean Kirrane. “Let’s see how it does when it becomes a disabled business. But I hope she can win other races there. One mile will be the optimum.