Local favorite Reynaldothewizard proved there is still some magic left in his 11-year-old hooves as he poofed away his competitors to win his third consecutive 3/4-mile Dubawi Stakes trophy on the Meydan dirt in Thursday night’s feature. The winner of the 2013 Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen bested two higher-rated challengers—Muarrab, winner of the 2016 Golden Shaheen and reigning Meydan track record holder at this distance, was a half-length off the sorcerer with Wild Dude a laid-back 4-1/4 lengths behind in third.
“I am speechless,” said jockey Richard Mullen, who piloted three winners on the evening. “I just love this horse. He was my first Group 1 winner and he just keeps producing.” Mullen explained his winning ride saying, “They went out quick, but I was able to stay in striking distance. Once we hit the straight, I knew he had plenty. He’s the horse of a lifetime.”
This was technically the wizard’s fourth win in this race since he conjured a win in the equivalent conditions race in 2013 before the name was changed in 2015 to honor the son of 2000 Dubai World Cup winner Dubai Millennium. The still-speedy Kentucky bred son of Speightstown padded his wallet as well as his resume, pulling his 11th win out the hat in 27 career starts, tipping his career earnings over the $2 million mark.
“I am speechless. I just love this horse…he’s the horse of a lifetime.”
Trainer Satish Seemar, who saddled three of the evening’s victors, deems a rest is in order for the star of Zabeel Stables. “We probably will wait for Super Saturday March 4,” mused Seemar, “and steer a course for another Golden Shaheen. He’s a Group 1 winner, but I feel this could have been his best race.”
An unusual 8-race, all-Thoroughbred Meydan card began with a one mile maiden race for 3-year-olds that saw Mike de Kock-trained Fawree start his career in great form with a 5-length dirt stinging of Bee Jersey while Mazeed, the son of 2002 Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry, will hope to gain a win another day after ending his first try 2-3/4 lengths wanting in third.
In the 1-3/4-mile Cruise Terminal, Red Galileo and Christophe Soumillon navigated past Carbon Dating by a mere neck across the Meydan turf with Rembrandt Van Rijn painting a 3/4-length third-place finish on the grass canvas. The win was the first of two on a windy night for Godolphin lead trainer Saeed bin Suroor.
“He was having a good look around,” chuckled Soumillon, “but he changed pace when he needed and ran on well. I think he is a galloper rather than a speed horse.”
The Mina Hamriya dirt mile saw British invader North America establish a special relationship with consecutive-race-winning rider Richard Mullen to come in first with Heavy Metal lumbering 1 1/4 lengths behind and Korean runner Power Blade a not-so-sharp 6 3/4 lengths back in third.
Town’s History jazzed past 13 contemporaries in the 1 1/4-mile turf Jafza, besting Alraased by 2-1/2 lengths with Hunters Creek a game third by 1-1/4 lengths.
A full field of 16 saw Fanciful Angel ring the finish line bell by a length over a turf mile and earn his evening’s wings over Hors De Combat in the Mina Rashid with Belgian Bill a 3/4 length third-place finisher.
The final jump in the 3/4-mile Jebel Ali Port turf sprint saw Final Venture venture past Steady Pace by a mere nose while Jamesie looked on from 1-1/4 lengths behind.
The evening began with a one-horse romp but ended with a four-horse struggle and a second win for bin Suroor and Godolphin in the 1 1/4-mile Mina Rashid Marina turf. Irish runner Elhaame, a 7-year-old gelded son of Acclamation, earned the applause with his 3/4-length better trip over fellow Irish horse Good Trip with Sanshaawes showing up for South Africa another 3/4-length back and Basateen, also representing Ireland, a short head off the crowded finish in fourth.