Dubai-bound import Ajeeb will say goodbye to racing down under this Saturday at Moonee Valley with their trainer Mick Price hoping they can return to form with an upset win in the 2013 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes.
The headline race at the Melbourne meet on the weekend, the $300,000 Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) lost its headline nominee at acceptance stage with Mark Kavanagh opting to run his Cox Plate favourite Atlantic Jewel in the easier Stocks Stakes instead.
Kavanagh still prepares the horse to beat in the Dato however with his Australian Cup winner Super Cool racing second-up after their resuming third to stablemate Atlantic Jewel in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield two Saturday’s back.
One horse out to cut down Super Cool is then Al Maher stallion Ajeeb, the four-year-old entering quarantine after the weekend to be sent to Dubai for either a career on the track or as a stallion for Sheik Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum.
“This will be his swan song for me. He’s a mature, professional racehorse, a bull, and he’s heading back to the Sheik,” Price told the Herald Sun.
Ajeeb was in flying form earlier this campaign winning their two winter assignments before a brave second when run down by this year’s Melbourne Cup favourite Puissance De Lune in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) on August 17.
They were somewhat disappointing over the same track and distance a fortnight later however when eighth in the Memsie beaten five lengths in the August 31 showdown after missing the start by two lengths and then tearing to the lead before being run down again.
“I don’t like that way of racing unless it suits on the day,” Price said.
“Hopefully with the barrier blanket he will jump with them and, without the blinkers if he can take the box seat, he won’t be the bunny again.”
In an attempt to get them back to their best for their departing start Price will make a number of alterations both to their gear and riding tactics on the day.
The first is the addition of a barrier blanket so as to avoid their habit of missing the starts in their races, and he will also remove the blinkers in an attempt to settle them off the pace.
“He will wear a barrier blanket on Saturday that hopefully will mend his habit of being slowly away,” Price said.
“And he’ll have the blinkers off. He’s a mature horse now and hopefully he’ll settle and won’t need to lead, possibly taking a sit behind Spacecraft.
“The intention is not to be the bunny.”
Other notable hopes in the Dato this year include the defending Paul Beshara-trained winner Happy Trails, multiple Group 1 winning Kiwi Sangster and Gai Waterhouse’s 2012 Melbourne Cup runner-up Fiorente.
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