Little Jim Takes UAE Two Thousand Guineas

By Jason Ford
The Satish Seemar-trained Little Jim was a convincing winner of the UAE Two Thousand Guineas (UAE-III) on his local debut at Nad Al Sheba Feb. 5 to confirm the good impression the colt had made in his native Argentina last year.

A 3-year-old son of Roar, he was the top-rated colt in his age group in his native land and had won three of his four starts before arriving at Seemar's Zabeel Stables. He escaped a penalty for his group I win in his native land last year which was also on dirt; his only defeat came on turf. Reputedly, it was a lofty price tag with which he arrived in the UAE after his private sale to Sheikh Mohammed's son, Sheikh Rashid.

Ted Durcan was always travelling well, initially just off the pace. When he asked his mount to settle the issue two furlongs out the colt did so in good style. Gerard Butler's Jack Sullivan came from well off the pace to deny Godolphin's Rosencrans second. Rosencarns, a son of Forest Wildcat, had won his only previous start at Arlington last year.

Durcan said: "That is relief all round. He has lived up to his reputation. That is his minimum trip and he has done it well. He should improve for that outing and there is more to come.

"He also has speed which is a great asset and hopefully onwards and upwards from there."

Little Jim's half-siblings include Lord Jim, a son of Lode who was a champion juvenile and multiple group I winner in their native land. Their dam, Clavija, is a group III-winning daughter of Cipayo who was placed several times in group I company. She is also a full-sister to the dual group II winner and group I-placed Categorico.

The main support race was the listed Al Shindagha Sprint, which was held on the dirt for the first time this year having traditionally been a turf race. South African champion sprinter National Currency, having his first start on dirt and burdened with a group I penalty, turned the race into the procession, making virtually all under Weichong Marwing for trainer Michael Azzie.

The excited jockey said, "He has a lot of natural speed and was able to relax in front. He will only get better and I am delighted with him as there is plenty of improvement in him."

The trainer added, "He goes on any surface and has acted on the dirt from the moment we put him on it. All has gone well and we knew he would take a lot of beating. Thanks to Mike (de Kock) for telling us all about Dubai and the Carnival--he has been a great help."

He would look a big threat to the traditional strong American team in the Golden Shaheen (UAE-I) on World Cup night.

A multiple group I winner in his native land, where he was also champion juvenile, the winner was a fine second behind Silent Witness in the Hong Kong Sprint (HK-I) on his previous outing. He is bred to fly mind you--his dam, Enchanted Dollar, is a winning Spend A Buck half-sister to Harry's Charm, a daughter of Harry Hotspur whose three champion titles also include that of sprinter, and to group I winner Enchantress.

Elsewhere on the card, Macau scored their first success when the New Zealand-bred Grand Stand won the opening nine-furlong handicap under Australian jockey Kerrin McEvoy on his return to the UAE. Then it was the turn of locally-trained Litigado, trained by Paddy Rudkin, who made all under Paul Hanagan in the 10-furlong handicap on the Argentinian-bred son of Kitwood.
Mick Kinane recorded his first career success in the UAE when partnering Allan Smith's Seihali to a decent victory in the mile handicap on the turf, while Richard Hills was in the winner's enclosure after Erwan Charpy's Zaajel won the concluding 12-furlong handicap.