February 26, 2012, Abu Dhabi ~ The middle round of the Arabian Triple Crown was the highlight at Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening and Daffagh Al Asayl (DARIKE (FR) – DENYAI (FR) by Johnny On the Spot (US) – was able to open his local account at the fourth attempt in the 2200m Group 3 feature.Winner of his only race in France, Daffagh Al Asayl had finished in the first four in all his three previous UAE starts since joining Ernst Oertel and was able to reverse form with Naseem, who had beaten him in both the first round of the Arabian Triple Crown and the UAE Derby over Sunday’s course and distance.
Ridden by Dubai World Cup winning jockey Mirco Demuro, he actually ran out a comfortable winner, from old rival Naseem and Oertel said: “We have always believed in this horse and that this trip would be ideal. Obviously Naseem was penalised tonight and we have taken full advantage in style.”
Another horse reversing form with an old rival carrying a penalty was AF Sanadek (Burning Sand (US) – Fauvette Al Maury (FR) by Djouras Tu (FR) – who landed the Emirates Colts Classic for trainer Eric Lemartinel with Gerard Avranche in the saddle.
Beaten on his penultimate start by Okba, who was only third on this occasion, Avranche’s mount had subsequently won a maiden over the same 1600m as Sunday’s contest and the jockey explained: “He is a nice young horse and hopefully improving all the time; that was only his fourth career start and it would be nice to think he can improve further.”
Trainer and jockey were completing a double having combined with Ibn Battuta Monlau (Dormane (FR) – Okapie Domenjoi (FR) by Tidjani (FR)- to win the preceding 2200m maiden. Avranche said: “He did not enjoy the softer ground last time so the strong winds drying out the track has certainly helped him.”
The only Thoroughbred contest, the 2200m prep race for the Group 3 Abu Dhabi Championship was won by Jutland who held off the late challenges of both Achill Bay and Topclas, winner of last year’s Abu Dhabi Championship.
Tadhg O’Shea, in the saddle for Doug Watson, said: “He is a tough horse, a typical ex Mark Johnston type. He has fought hard and seen off at least four challenges despite getting tired close home.”
A quality 2200m conditions race was won by the fast improving Versac Py (Njewman (FR) – Elipse (FR) by Tidjani (FR)- trained by Erwan Charpy and partnered by soon-to-retire Richard Hills who said: “He is a real tough horse but also has a touch of class; he won at Sharjah only last week and has come back out quickly and won again. He is not the biggest but has a big heart and a proper engine.”
Racing opened with a 1600m maiden and Wajfah W’RSan (Amer – WILDEST DREAMS (US) by Monarch AH (US)- provided trainer Jaci Wickham with another winner. Richard Mullen was in the saddle and said: “It is nice to get a winner here as I have had a quiet Abu Dhabi season and Jaci does so well with the horses she gets and she is so patient with them that she deserves these victories.”
Another jockey pleased to visit the Abu Dhabi winner’s enclosure was Carlos Sanchez who steered Rakkad Al Asayl (EL MANSOUR DE BROU (FR) – BAS ANA (FR) by Izentespeshal (US)- to victory in the Wathba Stud Farm Cup 1600m conditions race for trainer Mohammed Al Shamshi.
Sanchez said: “It has been a while since I have had a winner here at Abu Dhabi so it is nice to get another one.”