Emirati handler Musabbeh Al Mheiri.is making it a nice habit of gifting himself an early birthday present when he saddled his 500th winner on the opening night of the Dubai Racing Carnival at Meydan Racecourse on Friday proving once again that his runners are genuine contenders for the big prizes on offer during the 2023-2034 UAE racing season.

Twelve months ago, at the same meeting, he also celebrated his birthday by landing a double.

Al Muheiri, who turned 63 on Saturday, said that he will continue to seek out the one thing that has always been a priority for him - and that is to stockpile more winners for his owners on the racetracks of the UAE.

The landmark win came when El Nasseeb, ridden by new stable jockey Bernardo Pinheiro, romped him in the Emirates Holidays Maiden, the first two-year-old race of Meydan’s season,

“I am very happy to have this number on this night because it’s my birthday tomorrow,” said Al Mheiri.

“I want to say thank you to my team who work very hard. When you have the support of your staff, good things will happen.

“We are like a family at Oasis Stables,” added Al Mheri, who used to ride racehorses himself for fun during the seventies in Ajman.

“We have some nice horses for the season and, as always, we are optimistic.

“It’s going as well as ever, to be honest, and I’m really enjoying it,” said Al Mheri.

“I enjoy every win and I am happy and thankful that I have this opportunity to train top-class horses for many important owners.”

Al Mheiri took his career wins to 501 when Qareeb scored on debut for the trainer when taking the Emirates Skywards (Handicap).

Elsewhere on the eight-race card, sponsored end-to-end by Emirates, former champion trainer Bhupat Seemar and 11-time UAE champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea combined to win the two features.

Both winners, Western Symphony and Leading Spirit, were owned by Mike Kayne’s Touch Gold Racing syndicate.

Western Symphony took the night’s feature, the Emirates Airline Handicap, over 1600 metres while Leading Spirit battled hard for a neck victory in the 1,200-metre sprint.

“He’s a really strong traveller, which you want for the dirt,” said O’Shea of the former Godolphin-owned Western Symphony.

“He puts a lot into his races so we might space them out a bit more this season.”

“These are lucky colours tonight.”

Australian jockey Jimmy Orman continued to make the best of his two-week working holiday in Dubai when he rode his sixth winner when Meshri landed the three-year-old Arabian Adventures Maiden over 1600 metres.

“It was a good win today over a testing mile and Michael [Costa, trainer] had him spot on,” he said. “He travelled really well and gave me a winning feeling. It’s a short stint here, but hopefully I’ll be back one day.”

Costa’s new stable jockey at Jebel Ali Stables, Irish Group 1-winner Ben Coen opened his UAE account when Sadeedd took the closing 1400metre Emirates.com Handicap.

“It’s nice to get one on the board on the first day here,” said Coen. “Michael thought he had strengthened up and any questions I asked, he [Sadeedd] answered them for me.”

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