Master of Hounds winning the Jebel Hatta at Meydan
Master of Hounds winning the Jebel Hatta at Meydan

Click above to watch Master of Hounds winning the Jebel Hatta (Gr1)

(Image : The National - Footage : Dubai Racing Meydan)


Meydan, 10 March 2012

South African trainers took three of the eight races carded at Meydan on “Super Saturday - the race meeting billed as a dress rehearsal for the richest day in racing, the Dubai World Cup later in the month.

South African champion conditioner Mike de Kock saddled two winners and his compatriot Herman Brown one.

De Kock’s highlight of the day was the win by Master Of Hounds in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta.

South African jockey Kevin Shea made all on the four-year-old, runner-up in last year’s UAE Derby for Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien and, remarkably, recording only a second career win on his 13th career start.

Shea said: “From the widest draw, Mike gave me the option of going on if I could and after talking to Johnny Murtagh who knew the horse from Ireland it seemed the obvious option.

“I was always happy and he ran on well. I do not know where Mike will go with him but the Duty Free is one choice or perhaps the World Cup itself.”

Belgian Jockey Christophe Soumillon had earlier helped De Kock win the Al Bastakiya with Mickdaam, who started his career in the UK with Richard Fahey. In the 1900m contest, Soumillon was content to bide his time on the winner behind a frantic early pace but once he eased his mount to the front a furlong out he never looked in danger.

De Kock said: “We have always believed that he would be better over this kind of trip and he will probably stay further in time.”

De Kock’s major disappointment of the meeting was the failure of Bold Silvano to fire in the Maktoum Challenge after the former Vodacom Durban July winner got his tongue over the bit.

Herman Brown visited the winner’s enclosure after jockey Royston Ffrench made all the running on Mikhail Glinka in the Group 2 Dubai City Of Gold over 2400m on turf.

Capponi was a surprise winner of the concluding round of the Maktoum Challenge, the first thoroughbred Group 1 race ever staged in the UAE outside Dubai World Cup night.

Godolphin’s Dubai Millennium, Street Cry and Electrocutionist all won this race and then the Dubai World Cup and trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni will be hoping to repeat the trick with Capponi who won comfortably under jockey Ahmed Ajtebi, stalking the pace before sending his mount for home three furlongs out.

Ajtebi said: “I knew he would stay well and was happy to commit him for home a long way out. We went pretty quick up front but he stayed on very well. Obviously Sheikh Mohammed, Mahmood and Simon Crisford will need to decide where he goes but the World Cup must be an option.”

Trainer Saeed Bin Suroor and jockey Frankie Dettori combined to win the Group 3 Burj Nahaar with African Story. Never far off the pace, Dettori sent his mount to the front over a furlong out and skipped clear of Snaafy and hot favourite Musir, who is trained by De Kock.

Dettori said: “This horse is improving fast and I thought he was my best chance on the night. He travelled well and quickened nicely and I guess the Godolphin Mile will be the next step.”

There was a thrilling finish to the 5f conditions race on turf with Invincible Ash and jockey Jamie Spencer leading home an Irish 1-2-3 from Sole Power and Nocturnal Affair. The winner will now run in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint in which she was fourth last year according to trainer Mick Halford who said: “She bounced back to form last time and World Cup night has always been the target - she was a bit unlucky last year.”

Bahrain’s Fawzi Nass is the owner/trainer of Krypton Factor who was able to reverse the form of the Group 3 Al Shindagha Sprint with the David Barron-trained Hitchens over the same 1200m tapeta course and distance in the Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal.

Jockey Kieren Fallon rode the winner and Nass said: “We always thought he was a good sprinter and he has proved that. Hopefully all roads lead to the Golden Shaheen on the big night.”

Extract from Racing Post