“I have to say I thought it was a complete success and a very well-organized day; I can never remember so many international runners on the card before. It just goes to show that the DIAR prep races are working and long may it continue so we can attract horses from as many countries as possible, as that is clearly the vision of HH Sheikh Hamdan and the Shadwell operation.
With regards to the racing I have to say that Urge De Gallura really shocked me. I know he had won his four previous starts to date but this was a huge step up in grade really and I was very impressed with how professional he was through the race, and he had the race won a long way from home. Full credit to connections for coming over and hopefully that will now lead to a bigger Italian contingent coming over next year. The standard of racing there is certainly improving rapidly.
The two equine stars of the show were Jamaayil, another that had her race won a very long way from home. I’ve never seen such a competitive field demolished in such a way before, and to win by 12 lengths in a fieled of that quality is unbelievable; a step up to Group company now beckons. It was also pleasing for rookie trainer Phil Collington to have his first Group 1 winner with Radames. Phil is one of the good guys and has always been helpful when he was a jockey but also now as a trainer. A final word must go to the winner of the big race, Muraaqib, who sauntered to victory and was value for a lot more than the winning margin. The lack of early pace was a real hindrance to him and he was left in front a long way from home; his sheer class got him through. With a stronger gallop he would have been able to utlilize his trademark turn of foot better. After the race Richard Lancaster said he reminds him of dual Dubai International winner Bengali D’Albret, unfortunately he was racing before I got involved in the sport, but he (Muraaqib) reminds me of the great No Risk Al Maury (the greatest Arabian I have ever seen) in the way that he travels so strongly in his races and he has that instant turn of foot, that instant gear change that wins him his races usually. That is something that is very rare in Arabians and something that only champions have.
~ Gary Capewell 2016Follow Horsereporter On Facebook