First-season trainer Bhupat Seemar is obviously doing something right because he is in pole position to win the 2021-2022 UAE Trainer’s Championship.
However, prior to achieving that accolade, Bhupat, who is based at the pristine Zabeel Stables in the heart of Dubai, has focused his attention on having a successful Dubai World Cup meeting.
Bhupat is set to saddle an eight-strong team across the day’s nine races including Remorse, a horse who has rapidly risen up the ranks, in the $12 million Dubai World Cup.
“To have a runner in the Dubai World Cup is a big deal,” he said on Wednesday. “This little horse has gone from handicap to Group 1 level, it hasn’t surprised me because we always thought he was a good horse. He’s a Dubawi, and when they get into a battle they put it all in.
“He’s a lovely horse with a great temperament. Even a kid can ride him, My wife Caroline rides him and she does a good job,” he added.
Bhupat, who has sent out 46 winners since taking charge of the state-of-the-art Zabeel yard at the start of the season, believes that there is more to come from Remorse, who has finished second in all three starts this season.
“I still think there is a length or two in him,” he said, with confidence. “Turning for home, if he’s among the first four, he’ll run a very good race.
“We’re drawn 11 and come to think of it that’s not a bad draw for him because there’s tons of speed in the race, If he was drawn in the middle he’d probably get a lot of kick-back in his face, but from the wide draw (Stall 11) he can probably stay clean and make his run from there.”
What would it mean to win the Dubai World Cup considering he’s well on his way to winning the trainer’s title?
“It would mean everything, a dream come true,” he said. “For us the Dubai World Cup is the pinnacle of everything you do, You hope to have a good day so that all the hard work that you and your team have put in pays off. I’m very fortunate to be in this position, We’ve got a great team and we’ve got some great clients and I’m happy that some of those great clients who’ve had faith in us are getting some rewards for their investments.”
Perhaps the horse that Seemar is most excited about is ex-Godolphin conditioned Al Nefud who runs the G2 Godolphin Mile. The four-year-old was originally headed to the World Cup after an impressive performance in the G2 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 where he made Hot Rod Charlie work for his victory.
“We did talk about it and, with hindsight, I think it was a good decision to run in the Mile rather than the big race as that race is so strong and I think mentally, more than anything, he might not have been ready for it,” said the handler. “He just broke his maiden about two months ago and he’s already running on the World Cup day. A month ago I was thinking ‘why are we running in the Godolphin Mile’ but now I think it’s the right choice.”
Al Nefud’s biggest threat could come from defending champion and stablemate Secret Ambition.
“I can’t split them,” says Bhupat. “Secret Ambition is this old warrior and now he’s ready. Today he was bucking and kicking and it’s good to see a nine-year-old do that. I think with a good ride and a good draw he’s going to run really well as he’s so tough and genuine.
“Al Nefud is this new kid in town who’s coming up and has a world of talent, so it’ll be like Michael Jordan and Lebron James.”
Bhupat also runs three in the G2 UAE Derby including Bendoog, third in the Listed Al Bastikiya last time, who is the pick of stable jockey Tadhg O’Shea
“Bendoog got a bit legless (in the Al Bastikiya) but also they went wide, they didn’t really come to him and he might have gone closer if they’d come to him. The race just went against him – there was so much pace and he was up with it and he was the only one of those who hung on and won a game race. The winner and the second came from way back which showed the pace was strong. I think there’s a big improvement to come from him and we’re going to put blinkers on as Tadhg said he was looking around a little bit.”