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Jebel Ali racecourse

Jebel Ali: scene of Gothenburg's long overdue return 


Gothenburg trails in last on his overdue return

Report: UAE, Friday
Jebel Ali (Dubai), dirt

Gothenburg (Erwan Charpy/Sam Hitchcott), having his first start since he got Classic quotes when winning a Newbury nursery for Mark Johnston in August 2007, failed to fire on his return when trailing in a distant last in a 1m handicap.

Wearing blinkers for the first time, he was slowly away before travelling keenly until halfway and then tiring markedly in the closing stages.

Charpy said: "He missed the kick which was not ideal and then pulled quite hard but Sam then said he basically failed to handle the track - the dirt and the undulations.

"The horse has come out of the race fine and worked well at Meydan the other day so we will try and find a race there on Tapeta for him or, ideally, a turf race at Abu Dhabi."

For the second year running Mujaazef (Ali Rashid Al Raihe/Dane O'Neill) won the featured 5f conditions race at a meeting blighted by heavy rain, thunder and lightning.

Never far off the pace, O'Neill's mount was headed just over a furlong out by old rival and last season's Jebel Ali Sprint winner Russian Rock (Musabah Al Muhairi/Wayne Smith) but fought back to lead again close home.

O'Neill said: "He is a genuinely tough horse who gives his all. We went well over seven furlongs last time but he has plenty of speed for this stiff five - and remember he won over a mile and a quarter in England!"

That was a rare disappointment for trainer Al Muhairi who had earlier saddled Funon (O'Neill) to make a winning local and dirt debut in the opening 1m1f handicap.

Stable jockey Wayne Smith then rode a double on the fast improving Straight Talk in a 1m handicap before the classy Youm Mutamiez recorded a third course and distance victory in a  7f handicap.  

Smith said: "This time last year we were struggling after a very slow start but this time we have enjoyed a really good spell so far. Straight Talk has now won his last three and seems to be going the right way and Youm Mutamiez is a horse we have always really liked.

"He seems to prefer it here to Meydan and has the class for something like the Jebel Ali Mile but that trip probably just stretches his stamina."

Gold Pearl (Satish Seemar/Marc Monaghan) won a second 7f handicap and Momaris (Dhruba Selvaratnam/James Doyle) the concluding 7f maiden which was run in virtual darkness.

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