1 December 2016, Meydan, Dubai, UAE ~ Purebred Arabian Shateh recorded a five-and-three-quarter length Group 2 victory at Meydan Racecourse on 1 December, in the 1400m Bani Yas presented by Longines Passion in Equestrian.
The 7-year-old son of Mahabb, bred by HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, completed the 7-furlong distance in 1:30.25, bettering the 2013 record created by the HH Sheikh Mansoor-owned Rakha, another daughter of Mahabb, the UAE-bred stallion that is currently standing at Wathba Stallions. In doing so he beat 2016 Dubai Kahayla Classic star, AF Mathmoon by a convincing margin and kicked off a highly successful night for jockey, Pat Dobbs who went on to land two more races on the seven-race card presented by Longines.
All eyes were on AF Mathmoon, the winner of this race in 2016 who is trained by Musabbeh Al Mheiri at Oasis Stables who went on to win the Dubai Kahayla Classic on Dubai World Cup day.
However, dropping back to 1400m did not seem to suit him and his jockey, Fernando Jara, was soon niggling at him whereas Dobbs, aboard the Majed Al Jahouri-trained Shateh, always looked happy.
Jumped straight to the front by Dobbs, sporting the colours of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mansour Al Nahyan, Shateh shot clear 700m out and was never to be headed. AF Mathmoon held second but never threatened to bridge the gap to the winner, with Burning Breeze snatching a distant third late home.
“Shateh is a genuine Group 1 horse and this was only his fourth dirt start,” said Al Jahouri. “He was second on his three other dirt runs, once behind Al Mathmoon in this race last season. Al Mathmoon also beat Shateh on turf at Abu Dhabi in the Group 1 Liwa Oasis, but we received weight from him today. Shateh has won at 1400m before but we thought he was more of a sprinter so he has surprised me a bit tonight. We will probably have to try the 1600m of the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge R1 next.”
Shateh broke the track record in the process to further emphasise the value of his performance.
As he had on Shateh, Dobbs was able to secure the favored rail position on the Doug Watson-trained Desert Force, the very easy winner of the first of two 1400m handicaps, the Longines Master Collection.
The Longines Dolce Vita was a second 1400m handicap and it too went to the Dobbs and Watson combination, this time courtesy of Mathematics.
Watson went on to round off a winning treble with the closing 2000m Longines Elegance in Equestrian Handicap when his Tried and True, a graduate of the 2015 Emirates Racing Authority Horses in Training Sale, powered across the line under Sam Hitchcott.
A 1200m maiden, the Longines La Grande Classique, was won very impressively by debutant Shoreditch that led virtually the entire way under Adrie de Vries, providing Al Mheiri some compensation after the defeat of AF Mathmoon.
Dutchman De Vries later completed a double riding Stormardal to a smooth victory in the Longines Performance in Equestrian, a 1600m handicap.
The first Thoroughbred contest for the night was the Longines Conquest Classic, a 1400m fillies’ maiden in which all bar one of the eight runners were two-year-olds. The younger brigade dominated and Ahmad bin Harmash, who has his string in fine fettle, saddled debutante Nomorerichblondes to a determined victory under Antonio Fresu.
Photo: Shateh more than five lengths clear of runner-up AF Mathmoon to claim the Group2 Bani Yas for Purebred Arabians in course record. – Dubai Racing Club//Andrew Watkins