ERTIJAAL (AUS) will revert to turf and will be pointed at the Gr1 Jebel Hatta over 1800m on Meydan’s Super Saturday, 5 March.
The four-year-old colt faded right out of his first dirt handicap, a 1900 contest at Meydan on Thursday, not living up to expectations, but Mike de Kock summed it up: “This was a test for Ertijaal and he didn’t act on dirt. Simple as that. We’ll go back to the turf in the Jebel Hatta and you will see a different result.”
Ertijaal, bring back the turf! (Laura King).
The evening didn’t produce any winners for Blue Stables and Mike reviewed the runs of the yard’s other representatives saddled at the meeting.
Mastermind was run out of it over the last 10om of a handicap over 1400m on turf, getting third and Mike commented: “He did it the hard way, he was too keen and towing. He ran well again under a big weight and if he can relax in a race he can win again.”
Prayer For Relief, third in a dirt handicap over a mile, produced a very similar run to his start on 7 January. The eight-year-old started grinding with 150m to go, made up ground fast and failed by under a length to overhaul the winner, in this case the decent Maftool.
“Prayer For Relief ran another honest race, he would arguably have won in a few more strides. He’s won a number of races over 1700m, that seems to be his preference.”
Sanshaawes and Tellina both had a say in the finish of the Gr3 Dubai Millennium Stakes and were respectively beaten 3.25 (fourth) and 4.5-lengths (seventh), by Tryster.
“Both horses were well and gave of their best, but they’re older runners now and it’s getting hard to compete at Group level, they will do better in handicaps.”