'Majestic' Mouheeb Leads Promising Bachalard Sophomores

Trainer Nicholas Bachalard, master of HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's Jebel Ali Stables, has enjoyed a fruitful season in 2020-21 thus far, including a 23% strike rate and 64% top-three finish rate from 22 starts.

MOUHEEB winning the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial Sponsored By Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal
MOUHEEB winning the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial Sponsored By Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal Picture: Erika Rasmussen

In fact, 18 of his 22 starters going into Thursday's Meydan Racecourse card have been in the top 5, rewarding the patience of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed and racing manager Mohamed Al Shehhi have in the Bachalard. 

One would be remiss, though, if they did not mention the younger horses in the yard who are spearheading said success, including the highly exciting Mouheeb, who runs in Thursday's UAE 2000 Guineas Trial. A full-brother to G1-placed G2 winner Favorable Outcome, the son of Flatter (whose name means 'majestic') flattened foes on debut a few weeks ago, attacking the Jebel Ali hill well en route to a 2 3/4-length victory over next-out winner Hurry Up. The effort earned him an 85 rating, which was later flattered when Hurry Up garnered an 87 last weekend when graduating over the same six-furlong course.

"We were excited to run him because he had shown quite a bit of ability in the morning," Bachalard said. "He was the most forward of our 2-year-olds and obviously Hurry Up came back and ran a good race. He's progressed since the race, so now we will see how he runs. He's an exciting horse hopefully for years to come and could be an even better horse over a little more distance like 1400m or a mile. He has a good mind on him and has done well so far."

Watch Mouheeb 's debut victory HERE

Salem bin Ghadayer-trained Hurry Up won in sharp style last week over another well-regarded Jebel Ali pupil, Nibraas, who is declared to return on Thursday at Meydan in the seven-furlong 3-year-old maiden that commences the card. A son of Uncle Mo and $510,000 Keeneland September purchase, the maternal grandson of Curlin appears bred to flourish as the distances increase and will get an extra furlong to work with on Thursday. He has finished fourth and third in his two starts, but has shown ability. 

"I am not sure his races so far were the right races for him," he said. "We were hoping to get a rating good enough for the Guineas. He has talent, so hopefully, if we back him up and run him Thursday, he will do well." 

Watch Nibraas ' previous run (vs. Hurry Up) HERE

Another Jebel Ali Stables maiden who has shown some aptitude is Tahdeed, who will run in Thursday's Dubai Trophy for 3-year-olds over a straight six furlongs on turf. A grandson of Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) runner-up Darby Shuffle, the representative of the limited first crop of Godolphin Mile (G2) and Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Tamarkuz is bred to be anything. He was fifth by six lengths to Mouheeb last out, but finished sneaky-well under Fernando Jara. Bachalard's first rider, Ryan Curatolo, rides all three of these on Thursday and was aboard for his solid third-place finish on debut against well-regarded blueblood Cross the Ocean. 

"We will give him a chance on the grass, so hopefully he will run well," Bachalard explained. "He ran two decent races here at Jebel Ali and might be a slight cut below the best on the dirt, so hopefully moving to the grass will improve him and he'll find his niche there." 

Watch Tahdeed 's debut third HERE

"We had some issues in the stable and were able to fix them and that has helped us this season," he concluded. "The young horses have been running well and it's due to the dedication of Sheikh Ahmed and Mohammed Al Shehhi, who have invested and tried to rebuild the stable. I think it will pay off in the next few years, especially with hopefully some good European horses coming, as well. They'll have a good stable to look forward to."

Racing and Sports