horse racing

Maragh looking for a global flourish

Jamaican jockey looks at Main Sequence to propel him on to the big stage

By Alaric Gomes Senior Reporter
20:13 March 26, 2015

Dubai: Jockey Rajiv Maragh paid his Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) hopeful Main Sequence the ultimate accolade when he describted him as the best turf horse he has ever ridden.

Maragh, who was born in Jamaica, but currently lives in the USA, has partnered the six-year-old to four of his six wins including three Grade 1 wins.

“This is the best turf horse I have raced. He has won in the US and now I believe he can win anywhere in the world,” Maragh told Gulf News during the Breakfast with the Stars on Wednesday.

“He is a real superstar. He is very consistent and every time he is willing to come up with a big run. I am aware that there are some runners from Japan and from France, but if he can just run and duplicates the way he has been running, he can go on to win on Saturday.”

Maragh is accompanied to Dubai with his wife Angie, mum Jean, younger brother Christian and mother-in-law Lovieta.

This is only the first stop for the adventure-seeking 29-year-old jockey who is based in New York during the summer and Florida in winter.

“I live for a challenge. I’d love to go all over the world where I can have a chance of winning,” he said.

“But to make the trips a reality, one needs to have horses like Main Sequence,” Maragh added.

Main Sequence takes on eight rivals, including Japanese sensation Harp Star, Hong Kong’s Designs On Rome, and French raider Dolniya in the Sheema Classic, which together with the Dubai Turf (G1) offers a purse of $6million (Dh22 million), to make them the richest turf races in the world.

Maragh partnerd Main Sequence to win the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at the end of September last year.

However, he was to have a slice of bad luck soon after when Wicked Strong clipped heels in the Jockey Club Gold Cup and threw him to the ground. Maragh suffered a broken right forearm that required two steel plates, 13 screws and kept him off the racecourse for four months.

However, there was no slowing down for Main Sequence as he completed his championship season with a Breeders’ Cup Turf win with jockey John Velazquez five weeks later making him the prime candidate in the $6 million Dubai Sheema Classic on Saturday.