$100,000 Al Maktoum Challenge R3 (G1)
27 February 2020, Meydan Racecourse, Dubai, UAE ~ The $100,000 Al Maktoum Challenge R3 (G1) for Purebred Arabians kicked off the night and was won with a clever front-running ride by Fernando Jara on Majed Al Jahoori-trained Bandar, overcoming his outside post 13 to make the running gate-to-wire under the Dubai World Cup-winning jockey.
Second last out in Round 2 to Ziyadd —also a G1—of the series, the 7-year-old French-bred son of Munjiz won for the fourth time from 19 starts for owner Al Wathba Racing. Next will naturally be UAE’s top Purebred Arabian affair, the Group 1 $ 1million Dubai Kahayla Classic sponsored by Mubadala over the same 2000m. The final time was 2:16.84, which was .36 quicker than AF Maher ran in the same race last year before he went on to pull the R3-Kahayla double.
“Drawn 13 was potentially a problem because this horse likes to be in front, buck luckily we were able to get to the lead and then cross to the rail,” Jara said. “I was pretty confident thereafter and he quickened well before staying on strongly. You would have to be very pleased with that performance. Hopefully, he will go to the Kahayla Classic.”
Number two and running out of ground was RB Texas Hold Em trained by Doug Watson for Byerley racing with Patrick Dobbs in the saddle. Mawahib was third for Eric Lemartinel under Fabrice Veron.