Saimee get a winner and new owner lands quinella
Big player, Al-Arabiya Stable, tastes victory on Sunday
Two debutants, EBRAZ and ATEEJ, gave emerging outfit Al-Arabiya Stable the quinella in the second race on the Committee's Prize meeting yesterday.
After racing handy throughout the $75,000 Flax 2015 Stakes, a Restricted Maiden race over 1,200m, $86 shot Ebraz (Glen Boss) swept to a big lead once he straightened up, but that seat of power came under siege when the better-backed ($24) Ateej (Oscar Chavez) was seen rattling home at the rate of knots on the outside.
From the way he was catching the eye, Ateej seemed to have the edge, but that was to underestimate Ebraz who, somehow, mustered one last kick to prevail by a head.
As expected, owner Mansoor Gandhi was totally estatic with the perfect result, especially as the New Zealand-bred winner was hand-picked by himself as a baby.
"I bought Ebraz as a yearling and it's fantastic to see him win on debut. Ateej also ran a super race," said the oil and gas businessman who names the majority of his horses between Singapore and Malaysia with Arabian-inspired words or concepts.
"Ebraz metaphorically means to 'become outstanding' while Ateej is a producer. Hopefully, they keep it up at their next races."
Winning trainer Saimee Jumaat said he was expecting a forward run from Ebraz, but the win was still a question mark.
"The horse has been working very well, but I wouldn't have put up my hand to say he can win," said the former champion jockey who could go home a winner early as he was saddling only two horses, Ebraz and Evil Speedo, both in the same race.
"I actually prepared him to win at his first start, but you can never be sure how they will go, but I was expecting a good run.
"Oscar rode him in his trials, but jumped off to ride Ateej instead. That's the way it is at times.
"I put the blinkers and shadow roll as he's got a high head carriage, but dropped the pacifiers as he was going on turf,
"It's good for Mansoor who told me this horse has a sentimental value to him as he bought him as a yearling in New Zealand.
"He deserves every winner that comes his way as he invests a lot in racing here. He currently is my biggest supporter at the stable with seven winners and more is on the way, I was told."
Boss, who missed last weekend's racing and Friday's after going back to Australia for a short break, was glad he had returned a winner at Kranji.