The Satish Seemar yard are peaking nicely ahead of the Carnival after a slower than normal start to the season.
The yard is synonymous with old favourites and it is horses of that ilk, with a bit of fresh blood thrown in, that will be representing them on the big stage over the next ten weeks.
Here is a look at some of them with assistant trainer, Bhupat Seemar, giving Stephen Molyneux his views.
“Can be tricky and needs quite a bit to go his way but did well at Abu Dhabi last season and is actually unbeaten in three starts there. Dirt mark was too low not to at least try and exploit the last twice but he is clearly a turf horse and a strong pace over 1400m will see him to best effect. Definitely has a race in him but can’t see daylight too early (drawn wide one run at the Carnival last year).”
“Runner-up twice last year at the Carnival and whilst he is a little bit higher in the weights this time we would expect him to be similarly competitive. Like Akeed Champion we had to try him off a lower dirt mark on his reappearance and the trip was sharp enough at Abu Dhabi next time, shaping well in the circumstances and he could even have been second but for a wide draw. We will have a look at the Singspiel on the opening night but it’s more likely he will run in the 2400m handicap.”
“So talented but very fragile, as three runs in nearly seven years will tell you! Still has plenty of ability though as his run behind Championship in Abu Dhabi last year suggests and hopefully we can have at least one crack at a Carnival race with him.”
“Has finished second in a Group 1 on turf and we will probably mix and match with him on both surfaces, he can certainly be competitive off his mark of 105. Saying that we wouldn’t be afraid to run him in Group company, and could well go in the Singspiel Stakes on the opening night. It is very easy to see with him when he is in good form on the gallops and I can tell you he is flying at the moment.”
“He will run in a 1600m handicap on the 18th January and hopefully with him it is now a case of we know him, and he knows us. He was certainly difficult when he arrived, but he isn’t showing any signs of hanging at home and is the sort of horse that responds to being allowed to do his own thing. That showed in him winning at Abu Dhabi and hopefully he can do well at the Carnival.”
“A new horse to the yard having formerly been with Ger Lyons. He is another one for the turf handicaps and we will start him off over 1200m on the 18th, which may well be sharp enough, but he is a lovely horse who has done well since arriving.”
“A real star for us last season and has come back looking bigger and hopefully better than ever. The Godolphin Mile was a right off given the track conditions but has been doing everything right and will start off in the first round of the Maktoum Challenge over 1600m. The temptation remains to step him up in trip at some point as he can remain in his comfort zone for longer, but we will see how Thursday goes first”
“One of several 3-y-os in the yard and looked sharp in winning on his debut recently. It’s hard to know how good these early season races have been for the younger generation and obviously it will be a different ball game altogether when the likes of Godolphin send theirs out. There isn’t much between him, Yulong Warrior and Bella Dubai when it comes to our classic horses and he will run in the 2000 Guineas trial next.”
“A very exciting horse but we simply don’t know what went wrong when he reared in the stalls on his intended reappearance, he has never done anything like that before and we can only presume something spooked him. He has been through the stalls a couple of times since, and will have his official stalls test next week before we look to a 1200m handicap with him. It could well be a blessing in disguise as we still have a horse who can run in a handicap off 100, which might not have been the case had he gone close or even won at listed level last time”.
“There isn’t a great deal to say that hasn’t already been said about what is a true legend for the yard. He is 12 now so clearly every time he runs there is a distinct possibility it will be his last but all being well he will aim for another Dubawi Stakes on January 18th. He will tell us if he is ready, he doesn’t do much at home but if he doesn’t make the Dubawi we will just wait and see when the next opportunity is. He owes us nothing so getting him to a fifth Dubai Golden Shaheen wouldn’t necessarily be the be all and end all. Let’s just hope he has one more big effort in him.”
“A horse we inherited from Mike de Kock and showed something to work on when behind Cosmo Charlie recently. He is a Grade 1 winner in Argentina so arrived with a high rating which is coming down now and hopefully we are at a stage with him now where he can be competitive, he is certainly working well. It takes time for these South American horses to get acclimatised so hopefully we can have a fair crack with him this season.”
“Another favourite around the place who has represented us in a UAE Derby, Godolphin Mile and Dubai World Cup. Those days perhaps behind him now but was limited to just one run last season and we aim to find a handicap for him to run in first of all, so we can gauge just where we are with him. Like Reynaldothewizard, he will tell us when he is ready.”
DARK HORSE – “SATWA STORY continues to work the place down but hasn’t shown it on the track twice now this season since returning from a break. He did have an excuse at Jebel Ali (struck into himself), however, and a slow start didn’t help last time, so we are going to revert to turf with him in the hope all will not be lost if he misses it again, and he can travel into his races and quicken. He is so talented, and they are quite often the most frustrating.”
ONE TO WATCH – “RAVEN’S CORNER is probably the one we feel has most scope both physically (has grown over the summer) and from a handicapping point of view. We were happy to go into listed company for his intended reappearance and we are confident his stalls mishap will prove to be a one off.”