Firebreak won two Godolphin Miles (2003, 2004) and with that achievement shares the record with Lost Soldier as the only horse to ever do so.
Friday night on a eight race card will see the Stakes race run in his name that serves as a sneak peak to the Group Two Mile race run on World Cup Night and worth US $1 million.
The Firebreak Stakes has attracted a field of eight with some very classy types taking part including three by trainer Bhupat Seemar, with his uncle preparing Secret Ambition who would win both races in 2021.
Leading the field with the top rating (106) is Seemar’s Discovery Island, the mount of Antonio Fresu, who is a course and distance winner on this card last year after breaking his maiden at the track in December 2021. The 6YO gelded son of Dubawi returns to the track after last starting at Meydan in the Group Two Al Maktoum Challenge R1 and finishing second behind Algiers, Fresu retaining the ride.
“He was beaten by Law Of Peace last season but I think he is a better horse now and his second in the first round of the Al Maktoum Challenge was very good,” Seemar said.
Stablemate Law of Peace beat home Discovery Island in the Lincoln Navigator in February last year before going on to win at the track and distance in March and adding a Listed Abu Dhabi Championship a fortnight later. Tadhg O’Shea returns to the saddle on the 6YO gelded son of Sharmadal for the eighth time in what will be his seasonal debut after a 313 day break and his first attempt in Group company.
“He is returning to action and is drawn widest of all which is not ideal but he will be held up to challenge late anyway so it is not that big an issue.”
The third of Seemar’s runners is another son of Dubawi, Imperial Empire, who has been well beaten on his last two outings during the current campaign. However he has won three times on the dirt at Meydan having cracked his maiden in the region on his first run at Meydan on the turf over 1600m in January 2021.
“Over 1200m in the Group 3 Dubawi Stakes, Imperial Empire was basically outsprinted early on and just could not get involved. He should be happier back up in trip.”
Doug Watson currently leads the Championship Ladder clear by five winners over Ernst Oertel and in this race he prepares a trio also, all three having run in the Al Maktoum Challenge R1. Pat Dobbs, third in the jockeys championship, has chosen to mount the 7YO Everfast who ran third in the Al Maktoum after being suspended in that race. Watson trained Prince Eiji has retained hoop Sam Withcott who ran three lengths behind Everfast in the Al Maktoum. Thegreatcollection rounds out the team for Watson with Adrie de Vries booking the ride tonight.
Trainer Salem bin Ghadayer saddles a pair of UAE debutants in Ever Given and Mister Saint Paul, both owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum who also owned Heavy Metal who completed the Firebreak Stakes/Godolphin Mile double in 2018.