1 December 2017, UAE ~ Sunday, 3 December celebrates National Day at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, and the features are both the Group 3 Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan Cup and the Listed National Day Cup, the only Thoroughbred race on the card.
Both races are over 1600m and the former sees RB Burn return to action, three weeks after he finished first past the post in the world’s richest Purebred Arabian contest, the Group 1 Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown, over the same course and distance. Victorious in the same race 12 months earlier, sadly for connections, he was demoted and placed second this year.
Trained by Eric Lemartinel for Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, RB Burn is penalised with 59.5 kg weight on Sunday but should still be a major player looking for the payout of 420,000 AED under Gerald Avranche who said: “He is a very good horse who has a touch of class and relishes Sunday’s conditions. Hopefully he is the one the others have to beat.”
Lemartinel, the master of Al Asayl Stables, also saddles Hamza, the mount of Jesus Rosales, and Darius Du Paon, the choice of Tadhg O’Shea, both owned by HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Hamza was second in this race last year when chasing home Sharaf Al Reef with Fernando Jara riding for Abdallah Al Hammadi.
O’Shea said: “Al Asayl look to have a strong hand with RB Burn looking the most likely winner but all three are working nicely.”
Nahee will be saddled by Jean de Roualle for Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the Erwan Charpy-trained Cheik Roque, and Bon Baiser De Faust trained by Champion Trainer Doug Watson, can all run well but RB Burn should be hard to beat.