Dubai, UAE, March 24, 2011 – The traditional curtain-raiser to the Dubai World Cup card, the Dubai Kahayla Classic, over the same 2000m All-Weather course as the Dubai World Cup itself, looks exceptionally wide open this year.
The recognized prep, Super Thursday’s concluding round of the Al Maktoum Challenge, was won by (Akbar ex Jade des Pins) for Abu Dhabi-based handler Eric Lemartinel, chased home by stable companion Albar Lotois (Akbar (FR) ex Allia Lotoise (FR)). Both of them made exceptionally pleasing All-Weather debuts in the process and Nieshan would have to be fancied to confirm the form. Lemartinel won this in 2008 with Mizzna, owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan whose colours will be carried by both Shadiyda (Al Sakbe (FR) ex Sheena (FR))and Dariya (Dormane (FR) ex CR Samborsta (USA)) this year.
In third behind Lemartinel’s duo was No Risk Al Maury (Kesberoy (GB) ex Nectarine Al Maury (FR)), winner of that race last year as well as the Al Maktoum Challenge Round I which he also won this year. Runner-up in the Dubai Kahayla Classic last year, he travels like a superstar but does not always seem to find as much as expected off the bridle but is sure to go close. Trained by Gill Duffield, who has won this race four times (in succession) for No Risk Al Maury’s owner His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Duffield also saddles Rabah De Carrere (by Djouras Tu (FR) ex Anita de Carrere (FR))and Periander (HOL by Marwan ex Poloneze, a Group One winner in Abu Dhabi last Sunday. He disappointed behind Nieshan prior to that but was only beaten a nose on his local All-Weather debut in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round II. That race was won by the Erwan Charpy-trained Santhal who is impossible to predict.
Also in the frey, Fryvolous, winner of the Kahayla Classic in 2009, the last time it was run at Nad Al Sheba on the dirt. He has shown he can handle tonight’s surface when chasing home No Risk Al Maury on the first night of the Dubai International Racing Carnival but he has changed yards since and it is hard to know what to expect on only his third start in over a year.
Former stable companion Seraphin Du Paon won HH The President’s Cup Group 1 in Abu Dhabi for Philippe Barbe and Olivier Peslier on his most recent start but has yet to race on the All-Weather.
Doug Watson trains Paris Gagner (Dormane ex Gozela des Esteves (FR))who has finished third in each of the two most recent renewals of this race and is joined by stable companion Kandar Du Falgas (Kesberoy ex Djoulia du Falgas (FR))who beat Dynamite (Bibi De Carrere (FR) ex No Answer (FR)) over 1600m here in late December. The American also saddles Nirwan (Dormane (FR) ex Naiada Al Maury (FR)) in truly fascinating not to be missed race.