Dubai: Veteran racehorse ReynaldoTheWizard still has what it takes to reclaim the Dubai Golden Shaheen, according to his trainer Satish Seemar.
The nine-year-old won the Dubai World Cup build-up race in 2013 on tapeta and is now set to run in it again on dirt at Meydan this Saturday.
But despite his age and the change in surface, Seemar says the former champion can still cause an upset.
“He’s an old boy, but he’s been there and done that so he can do it again,” said Seemar. “When a marathon speedy horse like that comes in you have to take him seriously.
“He’s doing the exact same times in the preparation to what he did three years ago, so let’s see.
“He worked very well this morning [Monday]. Jockey Richard Mullen had a huge smile on his face. Two weeks ago he was a little flat in his mind but he seems to have woken up again, so I’m very happy with him.
“He only gets four races a year to run and he gets looked after like a VIP, so he better be fresh.”
Asked if the change in surface would trouble him, Seemar replied: “He’s done well here on dirt and tapeta, so there’s no problem.
“It would be a very special moment if he were to win it again because he’s a horse that’s been around. It would be great for the spectators and fans here locally to see a well-known local horse doing well again, it would be special for everybody.
“He may not be the highest rated horse on international form but in local racing circles it would be emotional, the public loves him and that’s what it’s all about when we see our hard work paid off by the crowd cheering for a local horse.
“I’m normally very pragmatic, I never normally get emotional, but you never know in that moment I could be.”
Seemar also has Farrier running in the Dubai Turf and Gold City in the Godolphin Mile on Saturday.
“Farrier runs his heart out and is a very consistent horse. We delayed his transition to turf, but when he ran in the Jebel Hatta at Meydan earlier this month he finished second [last time out]. The way he ran and in such amazing company [beaten by Tryster] is what made us decide he should get a chance.
“Gold City is not a superstar but he’s always there, he needs pace, but this is a strong race, so we are hoping for a good draw.
“Of the two I think Farrier has the stronger chance as he’s more consistent, but I wouldn’t write off Gold City either as he has one bad race and one good one. He had a bad one last time out in the Al Maktoum Challenge at Meydan earlier this month, so he’s due a good one now.”