TAJMEEL (AUS, photo) raced to a 2.25-length success in Sunday’s Gr2 Betting World KZN Oaks over 2400m at Clairwood on a good afternoon for Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai, who had also won an earlier race with another Australian-bred, Mujaarib.
Tajmeel was handily placed by Anthony Delpech and she was given her head at the top of the straight, putting her rival quickly under pressure to match her stride.
“She was going well early on and this was the distance she wanted,” said Delpech. “It wasn’t an overly strong field so I sent her early and she never stopped.”
Mike de Kock commented: “The field had cut up quite a bit with the likes of Dubai Gina withdrawn from the race, which threw it open. I had no concern about Tajmeel’s stamina, on paper she is bred for this trip and she was coming well at the right time. I wanted her to sit up second and go early.”
Mujaarib, easy win in handicap company.
Mujaarib had to be niggled at throughout the early part of a MR94 Handicap over 1600m, but the further they went, the more he asserted his quality, stretching out to win by 0.75-lengths, a margin that flattered the runner-up.
Mike said: “Mujaarib has shown us that he’s got the ability, but this was a big step up and I was worried about the hard knockers in the race. I felt we had a few pounds in hand though and he won well. He’s a horse who has had a helluva lot of problems and we needed time with him, but thanks to Sheikh Hamdan and well done to him and Angus Gold for giving us the time we need.
He added: “Well done to Sheikh Hamdan. His support of South African racing is huge and once the export protocols are right I’m sure we’ll get more support from him and his family.
Delpech said of Mujaarib: “He’s a good horse, he has lots of improvement to come!”
Mujaarib, like Tajmeel, was sired by Nadeem.
At Greyville on Friday evening, two-year-old colt Dubai Dizzy (by Dubawi), made a winning debut over 1300m for Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum.