Thakif Keeps Field at Bay for Group 1 President’s Cup Win

Thakif

Thakif

Sunday 14 February 2016, Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ Thakif, owned by HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan was once again on target when winning the Dh 3 million Group 1 HH The President Cup for Purebred Arabian horses at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club racecourse on Sunday, 14 February.

In last year’s running, Thakif and Bentley had crossed the line first in the HH President’s Cup chased home by Abu Alabyad but Thakif subsequently lost the race with Abu Alabyad promoted to first following a Stewards’ inquiry.

Thakif connections

Thakif connections

History repeated on Sunday evening in the UAE capital when the Nacer Samiri-trained Thakif held off his old rival to win the 2016 renewal by half a length providing his owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan with a third win in the race in four years.

Drawn 14 in a full field of 16, Bentley was soon able to get a good position in behind the early frantic speed, first with Namrood and then Shaheer, stable companions of Abu Alabyad, setting a searing gallop.

The eight-year-old was poised just behind the pace before the turn then 400 metres out he turned on the burners which opened a large gap on his rivals.

Abu Alabyad gave chase but never looked likely to bridge the gap to the obvious delight of the winning jockey.

“This is horse is really special to me and this brings back memories of 12 months ago,” said Bentley. “Any jockey will tell you we need good horses to get ourselves noticed and Thakif has been a big help to me. He is so versatile regarding trip and stayed really well tonight. I thought 2200m stretched him but he was still going at the line. We had a bad draw so it was important to get a good position. Once we did, I was always happy. As he has aged he has become more straightforward for a jockey and this was a top performance.”

Bred by Sheikh Mansoor, Thakif has been a consistent performer, and his sire, Mahabb, is a UAE-bred star, currently standing at Wathba Stallions.

It was Thakif’s second successive win after the 8-year-old Mahabb son had won the Maktoum Challenge (Round 1) on January 7 in Meydan under Patrick Dobbs.

Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) congratulated HH Sheikh Mansoor on the victory of Thakif in the prestigious HH The President of the UAE Cup for Purebred Arabian races.
“We had over 300 guests from all over the world and with a large local band of fans at the ADEC racecourse, it was a great race meeting and the Purebred Arabian horses unleashed exciting runs,” she said.

The meeting also featured the Thoroughbred version of HH The President Cup (1400m), a Listed contest which fell for the fourth consecutive season to a horse owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and trained by Ali Rashid Al Raihe. Ghaamer, handled by the owner’s retained jockey, Paul Hanagan, lifted the prize after leading nearly all the way.

Love To Dance

Love To Dance

Though out of luck in the feature with Abu Alabyad, jockey Gerald Avranche and trainer Eric Lemartinel had earlier combined to capture the Emirates Fillies’ Classic (1600m) with impressive debutante Al Jazi by AL NASR . Settled in midfield, she made eye-catching progress before hitting the front 300 metres out and posting a smooth success.

“She is a very nice filly and you have to be impressed,” said Avranche. “She has had a few problems and only had one serous gallop so is nowhere near 100% fit. We hope she has a big future as there should be a lot more to come from her.”

Al Jazi

Al Jazi

Al Jazi is owned by HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as is Molahen El Alhan, another Al Nasr son, that made all under the season’s leading rider Tadhg O’Shea in the concluding Al Hosn Handicap (1600m) providing the owner and Lemartinel with doubles.

Trainer Musabah Al Muhairi and stable jockey Fernando Jara continued the successful alliance they forged at the beginning of the current campaign when Love To Dance (Our Machine (US) – Shall We Dance BW (US) by LINE DANCER (US) won the opening Muroor Handicap (1200m).

Quickly out of the stalls, the grey mare soon led and had most of her 11 rivals in trouble at halfway before staying on strongly to take the prize. It was a second consecutive win for the five-year-old after success on the Al Ain dirt two weeks ago.

“She has a lot of natural speed,” said Jara. “She enjoys being out in front and we know stays 1200 metres so I was always pretty confident.”

Sharjah based trainer Saifaldin Deeb and jockey Sam Hitchcott added to their season’s totals when Dahess son, Dere’A Al Jazeera, scored in the night’s version of the regular Wathba Stud Farm Cup (1400m).

Eric Lemartinel

Eric Lemartinel

Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairperson of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA) and Chairperson of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committees in the International Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) congratulated HH Sheikh Mansoor on the victory of Thakif in the prestigious HH The President of the UAE Cup for Purebred Arabian races.
“We had over 300 guests from all over the world and with a large local band of fans at the ADEC racecourse, it was a great race meeting and the Purebred Arabian horses unleashed exciting runs,” she said.

The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as associate sponsors, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare with The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers and sponsored by Invest AD, Bloom, Petromal, Rise General Trading Co. LLC, Hayatna, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2015, Dr. Nader Saab Switzerland, Al Wathba Center, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Yas Channel, Omeir Travels, Racing Post, Paris Turf and Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics.

Please follow and like us:
error