02/04/2002 1:00AM

McLaughlin pair score in Dubai


Kiaran McLaughlin was the big winner at Nad Al Sheba Sunday night, with Musha Merr taking the listed Al Rashidiya and Qawaqeb landing a handicap.

Formerly trained by Saeed bin Suroor for Godolphin, Musha Merr upset his highly regarded ex-stablemate Celtic Silence by 1 1/4 lengths in the Al Rashidiya, a 1 1/4-mile turf contest that went in 2:04.94. Musha Merr, a 4-year-old son of Sadler's Wells and a listed race winner in England, came from last to first under Ted Durcan after having spotted the 10-horse field 10 lengths at the start. He is a likely candidate for the Dubai Sheema Classic on Dubai World Cup night, March 23.

Qawaqeb, the 17-length winner of a 1 1/4-mile off-the-turf allowance race at Belmont for McLaughlin on Sept. 30, caught Rumpold in the final strides for a 1 1/4-length victory in a one-mile handicap on dirt. He will be aimed at the Godolphin Mile, also on March 23.