Manark Sparkles in Meydan Curtain- Raiser

Manark breaks track record running the 2000m in 2:16:30

CBL0PLOUcAAMN8M29 March 2015, Dubai, UAE ~ The 20th running of the Group 1 PA Dubai Kahayla Classic empowered by IPIC was a one-horse show when Manark (Mahabb (AE) – Mendra (FR) by Sousse (FR) turned his early lead into an overwhelming victory.

Ridden by Dane O’Neill, the six-year-old Manark beat a very fast-finishing Valiant Boy (FR) by two and a quarter lengths, while Raaziq (FR) finished a further three-quarter lengths back in third.

As to the fancied Qatari runner Djainka Des Forges (FR), she finished fourth.

It was a very fitting victory, as Manark is owned by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who was obviously delighted with the son of Mahabb.

“We started at Nad Al Sheba and now we are here and there is a huge crowd, which is wonderful,” said H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Trained by Erwan Charpy, Manark had never been tested over the 2000m trip on the new dirt track at Meydan, but he was never threatened and quickened easily in the final 400m.

His trainer said: “This horse is full of class. But he is not an easy horse to train.

“We work him with headgear and that has made all the difference. He has become more manageable, because before he was quite capable of running off.

“Already when he worked last time, Dane said that he was going the right way. Normally he is so buzzy, but he was cool in the pre-parade ring today and I was almost starting to worry, but then he came alive.

I looked at the race and thought there was no pace in it. We were drawn three on a lively track, so I told Dane not to worry if he made the running.”

O’Neill added: “It’s great to do it for the boss, Sheikh Hamdan, who is here. I just wanted him to relax wherever that happened to be. He wasn’t doing an awful lot in front.”

While Manark fulfilled his trainer’s expectations, his stable companion Versac PY, a winner at Meydan three weeks ago, was pulled up halfway through the race.

Charpy explained: “He is a very fast horse, but already the other day when he ran in Abu Dhabi the track was fast and he wasn’t ready to let himself down on the track. He is now an older horse and this track might have been a bit fast for him.”

The track certainly was fast, which Manark proved by breaking the track record after running the 2000m in 2:16:30. His trainer concluded: “He is still young, so he won’t run again this season and we will keep him for next year.”