Hayyan holds on for Dubai Kahayla Classic haul
25 March 2023, Dubai Meydan ~ $1,000,000 Group 1 Dubai Kahayla Classic sponsored by EMAAR – A thrilling head-bobbing finish greeted spectators to the 2023 Dubai World Cup meeting at Meydan with local hopes Hayyan and Barakka involved in a long stretch duel in the Group 1 Dubai Kahayla Classic (2000m) – the card’s traditional curtain-raiser – before the Majed Al Jahoori trainee Hayyan prevailed by a short head.
Ridden by Panamanian jockey Oscar Chavez, who also partnered him when winning the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 last month, he was positioned in a handy fourth on the rail just behind a fast pace.
Turning for home, Barakka traveled best with Hayyan under persuasion looking for daylight but once that came he quickly went past the Ahmad bin Harmash representative.
Barakka showed he is all heart, fighting back and even reclaiming the lead for a brief moment until Hayyan reeled him back in the final 10 metres to win by a short head.
A messy beginning for 2021 winner Deryan ended his hopes of reclaiming his Dubai Kahayla Classic crown while last year’s victor First Classs was never comfortable in the early stages of the race but made good ground towards the finish, ultimately grabbing third.
Al Jahoori, who first won this race with Rabbah De Carrere in 2014, said: “To win this for a second time is a dream and I’m very happy. I have to thank His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his support.”
His son and assistant trainer Sultan added: “Congratulations to my team. Hayyan did very well. He won Round 2 and we were hopeful that he would come and win again today. He did well and won a very exciting race.
“This horse is very sensitive. My heart stopped when I saw him stopping (near the finishing post) but he carried on and thankfully he won. My dad won this for the first time when I was just 14 years old, Rabbah De Carrere was one of the best horses we’ve ever had and finally we’ve had another champion with Hayyan. I hope that there are more to come.
“I’m not sure what we will do next, we will have to talk to the boss.”
Oscar Chavez, winning jockey, said: “The moment the trainer legged me up, I knew that he was way better than his last run. I knew that he would jump and put himself into a good spot without forcing him too much.
“He slowed down a little bit but he saw the other horse and he committed again. It is a great way to cap the season and I have to say thanks to all of the owners and the trainers for the support.”
Barakka (2nd), jockey Ray Dawson said: “Heartbroken. You’d rather lose by a couple of lengths than to be beaten like that but he’s still an inexperienced young horse and there is always next year when hopefully he’ll improve. That’s racing, someone’s got to come up on the losing end but he gave me his all and I couldn’t be prouder of him.”
First Classs (3rd), jockey Maxime Guyon said: “The horse has run a lot through the winter and went to Abu Dhabi and Qatar. He had every right to be a tiny bit fatigued. But I had a good trip, he broke well and I was able to get a good sit, covered up on the outer and without having to face too much kickback. The horse lacked a real turn of foot like he showed last year but he ran all the way to the line and it was a good run.”
Trainer Jean de Mieulle said: “He’s run well and everyone is very happy. He got a fair amount of kickback which made it tricky and he’s been on the go a long time. We’ll give him a break and then prepare him for Goodwood in the summer.”
Kerless Del Roc (5th), jockey Fernando Jara said: “I got a good trip and a good position, we were going at a good pace and I thought he would give me something at the end. When the 600m came, I let him go a little bit and when he didn’t go I knew I was in trouble so maybe next time.”
Jugurtha De Monlau (6th), jockey Patrick Dobbs said: “He was restless in the gate and he missed the kick so it was game over for him. He has to be in front.”
AF Alajaj (9th), jockey Tadhg O’Shea said: “He jumped, he travelled and he got a lovely trip all along. The 10 furlongs probably stretched him, but he’s a top horse going a mile. ”
Deryan (10th), jockey Bernardo Pinheiro said: “It was over at the start.”
RB Rich Lyke Me (11th), jockey Adrie de Vries said: “He was flat as a pancake.”
Mujeeb (14th), jockey Richard Mullen said: “He’s never been on this track before. He broke okay but seemed to struggle a bit on this track for the first time.”
Winning time: 02:14:15 (race record 02:11.87)
~end Dubai Racing Club