Racing tips: Michael Costa’s good form to continue

Doug Watson has a strong hand in Race 7 at Meydan today.

Six days after winning five of the seven races at Jebel Ali’s opening meeting of the new season, the Australian pair Michael Costa and James Orman head to Meydan today looking to continue their red-hot form at Dubai’s first fixture of the campaign.

Costa, who saddled six winners at Meydan last season, introduced a smart juvenile last Friday at Jebel Ali and is represented by wellbred colt Alsayef, to be ridden by Orman, in Race 2, the 1200m two-year- old maiden.

By Union Rags, he was acquired for $130,000 (R2.4m) at Keeneland September Sale 14 months ago.

ALSO READ: Racing tip: Why Say Yes may be a good bet for maiden Summer Pudding Handicap

Ben Coen, recently appointed stable jockey for Costa, starts his winter stint in the Emirates and rides Gaassid, Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum’s second runner. By 2018 UAE Derby winner Mendelssohn, he is a well-related colt and merits obvious respect.

Fawzi Naas introduces Tactical Bound, a €222,222 (R4.3m) purchase at the Goffs Dubai Breeze- Up Sale in March. He has an attractive pedigree for dirt, being by Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner and US Champion Two-Year-Old Good Magic.

He has the assistance of Adrie de Vries, a rider with a decent strike-rate on Meydan’s main track.

Salem bin Ghadayer has found a winnable opportunity for the former Charlie Appleby-trained Golden Speech in Race 4, the 1600m maiden. By Dubawi, the most successful sire on dirt at Meydan, he was placed in five of his six starts for Godolphin in England and should finally open his account under Royston Ffrench.

The handicaps are typically competitive. In the finale, Race 8 over 1400m, Triple Venture can start his campaign with a bang in the hands of in-form Conor Beasley for his main employer, Ahmad bin Harmash.

ALSO READ: Sean Tarry brings out his big guns in the Western Cape

A winner over the course and distance 12 months ago, he is very consistent and has not finished worse than third in 10 of his 12 starts at Meydan. He can make good use of his inside draw in stall No 1 and record a welcome overdue win.

Mayaadeen, trained by Doug Watson for Shadwell, is a danger. He has a good record at Meydan and doesn’t look badly handicapped.

Given the form of the yard, Michael Costa’s Sadeedd is entitled to respect. He was knocking on the door last season, hitting the frame in all his three starts.

Perfect Balance, a winner at Sharjah last month, won’t lack for fitness and has solid claims in Race 3, the opening handicap over 1600m.

Trained by Bhupat Seemar he showed a determined attitude to hold off Al Jaddaf, who renews rivalry and is weighted to reverse the form. The outside draw may aid Perfect Balance’s chances, as he’s likely to avoid the worst of the kickback.

Wild Hurricane, a first runner of the season for Saeed bin Suroor, is one to consider on his UAE/dirt debut. The Dubawi gelding, a maiden after seven starts, showed a fair level of ability over a variety of distances in the UK. The switch to dirt shouldn’t be a negative given his pedigree.

ALSO READ: De Kock’s Gimme A Nother looked impressive in debut success

It would be a welcome winner for Suroor, who suffered heartbreak at Santa Anita on Saturday when Mawj was denied victory in the final strides by Master Of The Seas in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

Stamina will be at a premium in Race 5, the 1900m handicap. In a wide-open looking event, Grand Dubai gets the nod to enhance his good record at Meydan for trainer Musabbeh Al Mheiri.

He is a likeable performer, stays well and can overcome a wide gate.

The Bhupat Seemar pair – Green Jacket, the choice of Tadhg O’Shea, Ghost Of The Mambo and Vasilakos – look the chief dangers.

Former Jebel Ali Sprint winners Alkaraama and Al Tariq are among 11 declared for Race 7, the 1200m handicap. The latter, trained by Doug Watson, largely struggled last season but as a result has slipped in the ratings and if ready after his summer break, he should be thereabouts over a course and distance he enjoyed his biggest success, winning the Group 3 Al Shindagha Sprint in February 2021.

ALSO READ: VAR from the Madding Crowd: Thankfully technology hasn’t yet derailed horse racing experience

It may pay to side with Leading Spirit, trained by Bhupat Seemar, in the hands of Tadhg O’Shea. He enjoyed a productive campaign last season, winning a couple of handicaps at Jebel Ali.

He rounded off the season with a solid effort in the Jebel Ali Sprint, finishing a close fourth behind Road Bloc. Leading Spirit has form at Meydan, most notably when chasing home Wafy in the Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal.


Race 8 No 6 Triple Venture


Race 5 No 9 Grand Dubai


Race 8 6-Triple Venture and 7-Mayaadeen


(Races 5 to 8) R36 Leg 1: 6, 9 Leg 2: 1, 4, 6 Leg 3: 3, 4, 11 Leg 4: 6, 7

Read more on these topics

Horse News horse racing horse racing news horses

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits