Dubai, UAE, 30 March 2012 – Ernst Oertel saddles two previous winners of the Group 1 Dubai Kahayla Classic, sponsored by EMAAR, the Purebred Arabian equivalent of the Dubai World Cup, with last year’s winner Seraphin Du Paon joined by 2009 winner Fryvolous.
Both were well beaten over course and distance on Super Saturday though by Nieshan who was chased home by Timadit Al Mels in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round III. Second in this race last year, the Eric Lemartinel-trained Nieshan has looked an improved performer this year and also beat Seraphin Du Paon in the Group 1 HH The President of the UAE Cup in Abu Dhabi last month.
Albar Lotois, also trained by Lemartinel, was fourth in this race last year and gives the trainer a strong hand. Fryvolous was fifth in 2011, one place ahead of Dariya, who represents Majed Al Jahouri.
Kandar Du Falgas was well beaten last year but trainer Doug Watson has deliberately freshened him up this year so is hoping for a better run, while Gill Duffield has an excellent record in the race but her AF Alghabra would need a career best here.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his retained jockey Richard Hills have enjoyed a lot of success in this race in which they will combine for the last time with the jockey retiring after the meeting.
They are represented by the fast improving Versac PY who is trained by Erwan Charpy, perhaps surprisingly seeking a first winner in the race. As always, the owner is well represented with Kandar Du Falgas and French raider Aktar Lotois also carrying his colours.
Sahib Du Clos disappointed on Super Saturday but Saifaldin Deeb’s stable star had been in flying form earlier in the season with victories in the Group 1 National Day Cup in Abu Dhabi, as well as the first two rounds of the Al Maktoum Challenge (both Group 1).
Qatar supply the final three runners in a fascinating renewal. Julian Smart has saddled the winner of the race twice, including in 2010 with Jaafer from Qatar and Nez D’Or in 2002) and he relies on Harran ASF this year. He looks sure to go well under Richard Mullen, while Adrie De Vries, who rode Jaafer to victory in 2010, is an eye-catching booking for TM Fred Texas.
George Mikhalides saddles Al Mujahaz, the mount of Darren Williams, to complete a strong Qatari trio.
The $250,000 USD Prize 2000m race is set to go off at 4:30pm Saturday, March 31, Dubai Time ( UTC -8 -/5:30am PST USA).