Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge R3 Won by Ziyadd

1 March 2018, Dubai, UAE ~ The ninth meeting of the Meydan Carnival went off on Thursday 1 March 2018, and saw Ziyadd win the spoils in the only Purebred Arabian contest on the card, the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge R3.

Sponsored by Al Naboodah Facilities Management Trophy over the same 2000m on dirt as the Group 1 Kahayla Classic on the Dubai World Cup card the combatants were the 1600m R1 winner, Paddy’s Day, and the 2200m R2 victor, Barnamaj, but they finished third and second, respectively, behind a resolute Ziyadd, who was given a well-timed ride by Richard Mullen. Trained by Jean de Roualle for Yas Horse Racing Management, Ziyadd was never far off the pace before hitting the front early in the straight and kicking clear to the wire. Passed by several rivals turning for home, Paddy’s Day re-rallied impressively to pick up third, while the always-wide Barnamaj flatted a bit late. Win time: 02:15:54

We were pretty confident that he had a big chance tonight because he has been training very well on the dirt in Al Ain,” Mullen said. “It is only his third start for us after two good efforts at Abu Dhabi on the turf. He certainly needed his first one and then he ran well in HH The President Cup when second. His dam won the Kahayla Classic, as did his brother, so we had to be hopeful the dirt would suit, but you never really know until you try them in a race. It has really suited him and, all being well, he is an exciting prospect with the Kahayla Classic the obvious option.”

De Roualle added: “It was his first time racing on dirt for us, but we thought he would be fine on it. We will give him a quiet ten days now before building him up for the big night.”

Mullen completed a double, sending Argentine G1 winner Saltarin Dubai straight to the front in the $160,000 Curlin Handicap sponsored by Al Naboodah Building over 2000m and never turning back. The pair got a bit of revenge on Godolphin’s Don’t Give Up, who had beaten him into second on their previous two outings.

Over the same trip as the $10million Dubai World Cup, this equivalent handicap was won by Curlin in 2008 en route to a popular victory in the big event. It was thus redesignated in his name and more recently won by California Chrome in 2016.

He has always worked very well and has been running some good races in defeat,” Mullen said. “We thought to go out in front on him to keep him out of the kickback, as he has sulked at times in his races when getting dirt kicked at him. He is a Group 1 winner, so the talent is there and he has had a really hard race tonight so I guess that will be his last run this season.”

The final meeting of the 2018 Dubai World Cup Carnival is next weekend’s Super Saturday on 10 March, the dress rehearsal for the Dubai World Cup card three weeks later.
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