07 Jan, 2021, Dubai, UAE ~ Racing at Meydan on Thursday evening, the first UAE fixture of 2021, was highlighted by the only Purebred Arabian race on the card, the opening 1600m Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge R1 presented by Longines and won in determined fashion by Brraq (Mahabb x Fattana (FR) by Njewman (FR).
Settled in midfield by Adrie de Vries, the 8-year-old entire made smooth progress to chase the leaders leaving the home turn before swooping down the outside to grab the initiative about 250m out. He would stay on strongly to deny the challenge of Fettah Du Loup. Homebred by Yas Racing, Brraq was providing a dream first UAE winner, after 13 previous attempts, for Frenchman Jean-Claude Pecout who trains on the racecourse at Al Ain.
Pecout said: “To have my first winner in a Group One is amazing and a lot of credit to Jean de Roualle who trained him before and told me this is a very good horse. As we all know, Jean is a very good judge and has, as so often, been proved correct.”
De Roualle added: “This horse is not the easiest to train and his new trainer has done a brilliant job with him. I would not have run him here, so all credit to Jean-Claude on a great result.”