Grade 1 winner Ajuste Fiscal is among a plethora of returning stars in action at the opening meeting of the new Dubai Racing Carnival on Friday.
A winner over 2000metres here at Meydan Racecourse last December, Ajuste Fiscal (pictured) was last seen finishing fifth in the G1 Maktoum Challenge Round 3 and resumes off top weight, with a full field of 15 rivals to beat. They include 2020 G3 UAE Oaks winner Down On Da Bayou as well as dual course winner Kafoo, stablemate of Ajuste Fiscal.
“Kafoo is a very interesting horse who arrived a few months ago to our stable,” said trainer Julio Olascoaga, who has taken over the handling of Kafoo from Bhupat Seemar. “He’s been working very well and even though we believe that his ideal might be further than a mile, it’s a good starting point.”
Kafoo will be partnered by stable jockey Jose Da Silva, with Dubai Kahayla Classic-winning rider Oscar Chavez on Ajuste Fiscal.
“Ajuste Fiscal goes for his fourth UAE season,” said Olascoaga. “He might need further to see him at his best, but it is not a concern as he’s well prepared. He can do some damage if things go his way.”
Seemar runs three, two of whom, Western Symphony and Imperial Empire, are now owned by Touch Gold Racing, having been sold by Al Rashid Stables during the summer.
“We considered splitting them up, but we think this is the right starting point for each of them,” said Mike Kaye, Touch Gold Racing Founder. “Tadhg [O’Shea, Stable Jockey] prefers Western Symphony, who had a good year last year, progressing through the ratings, and we’re hopeful he’ll have a good year for us.
“Imperial Empire has also been working well but is drawn 15 of 16. We’re not entirely sure where we are with him, having had quite a disappointing season last year. Hopefully we can drop him in here and he can run on and show us something, with a view to trying him over further in the future.”
The 1200metre Emirates Airline Handicap, race seven, sees a high-profile recruit to the Olascoaga stable in dual course Group 3 winner Gladiator King.
The seven-year-old, who now carries the colours of Sheikh Humaid Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, is on something of a redemption mission, having run just three times since 2021.
“There’s not much to say about his quality, he’s spoken for himself at Meydan before,” said the trainer. “He’s been training well and by now we have no excuses but to see him perform. Stable jockey Jose da Silva was happy with his final work and picked him over stablemate Fast-Uno.