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Ormindo wins Jebel Ali Feature in thriller
December 16, 2017
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Dubai: Racing at Jebel Ali on Friday afternoon was highlighted by a 1400m handicap which went right down to the wire as Ahmad Bin Harmash trained Ormindo ridden by Connor Beasley won the race.

With 300m to run in the race at least half of the 12 runners appeared to hold serious claims. It was about this point that early leader Pirate’s Cove cried enough and was swallowed up by the chasing pack, headed by Mushaakis who was himself immediately challenged on both sides.

The Satish Seemar duo of Speedy Move and Above Normal, as well as Pathway To Honour, under Silvestre de Sousa, all loomed as serious challengers. Britain’s Champion jockey was seen in action in the UAE for the first time this season. However, down the centre of the track, challenging widest of all, was Ormindo. The seven year old, like Pathway Of Honour is trained by Ahmad Bin Harmash and was making his seasonal debut whereas his stablemate had won at Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

The mount of Connor Beasley, aboard Pathway Of Honour for Sunday’s win, Ormindo swept to the lead 200m out and stayed on strongly, posting a sixth career win, all in the UAE, his third success at Jebel Ali but first at a trip this short.

Beasley said: “That 1400m would be very much his minimum trip but they went a proper good early gallop which has really suited him. At halfway I was hard at work but every time I asked him he has responded and when he hit that hill, he really powered up it.

“It was his first run of the season and, I would imagine, he will go back up in trip to perhaps 1600m now but that is a great start to his campaign.”

The meeting opened with a 1950m handicap, the longest distance over which they race at Jebel Ali and it looked hard work as Hawker led the 16 runners home, followed by Heraldic who made a gallant effort to lead all the way under Richard Mullen. Settled in about sixth by Pat Dobbs, the Doug Watson-saddled Hawker always looked to be travelling strongly and made stealthy progress early in the straight, switched to the middle of the track.

Still going much the best, they headed Heraldic and the challenging Aslan about 300m from home with the trio having the race to themselves from at least 500m out. Aslan weakened soon afterwards but Heraldic plugged on gamely without ever looking likely to regain the initiative.

It was a second career and first local win for Hawker on his ninth start for Watson who said: “He missed the break here last time over 1400m and was never able to get involved but we thought he had a good chance this afternoon. His penultimate start was a good one over 2000m at Sharjah when he was staying on, after another slow star and Pat has given him a great ride today.”

The following 1800m handicap looked likely to produce a carbon copy outcome for the team at Red Stables when Dobbs and Tradesman eased to the front at the 400m pole. A course and distance maiden winner for Watson three weeks ago, they had all their nine rivals in trouble, apart from Rothenburg who, strongly encouraged by Pat Cosgrave, was making progress on the far rail.

Rothenburg now has two wins from three career starts. He made a winning debut over 1400m at Meydan in November before missing the start when staying on well for fifth in a handicap over the same course and distance. His inexperience was apparent here so it was a good effort.

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