Sunday March 10, 2013, Abu Dhabi ~Abu Dhabi’s Sunday meeting was highlighted by the 1400m Group 1 Liwa Oasis and trainer Majed Al Jahouri, who is enjoying an amazing season. Al Jahouri saddled a remarkable 1-2-3-4 with Royston Ffrench aboard winner Rakha (Mahabb (AE) x Shamayl by Kesberoy), who led close home to deny stable companion Areem under Ahmad Ajtebi a third win at the highest level. His horses, Thakif and Musharab were third and fourth, respectively.
All four of the 1-4 finish are owned by the trainer’s main patron H E Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Winning jockey Ffrench said: “It was a truly gutsy performance and a remarkable result for the yard. She (Rakha) is exceptionally tough and gave her all to lead close home.
”I rode her two starts ago when she was second to Thakif, third tonight, and thought this extra 400m would suit her. Luckily it has!”
That race posted a new track record as did AF Shbas in the following 1000m conditions stakes, sponsored by Wathba Stud and restricted to horses labelled as owned by ‘private owners’. Dane O’Neill was in the saddle for trainer Tony Manuel who said: “These Wathba Stud races are a great initiative and gives us all, who do not train for The Royal Family, a great chance to win a few races and it really has been a great initiative – and long may it continue!”
O’Neill added: “It has been a good season and I have really enjoyed it. It is great to have this turf track at Abu Dhabi to give these Purebred Arabians the opportunity to race on grass and regularly.”
Champion Jockey Tadhg O’Shea was in double form, landing the main support race, the 2400m Group 3 concluding round of the Arabian Triple Crown on the exciting Skoop (Njewman (FR) x Speed (FR) by Dormane).
O’Shea said: “Skoop has plenty of speed but stays well which is great for a Purebred Arabian. He was keen early on so made his own job more difficult but he really does seem to have a touch of class and, all being well, he is a serious prospect for next year.”
Skoop’s trainer, Ernst Oertel, still has a chance of being crowned Champion Trainer this season after a memorable campaign.
The jockey completed his double on Queen Of Alba and said: “That is great to get my first winner for Thistle Bloodstock for whom I will be riding as retained jockey in Ireland this summer. She deserved to get her head in front after some good efforts in defeat.”
Racing opened with a 1600m conditions race, in which Adrie De Vries made almost every yard of the running on Talmoud (Bibi De Carrere (FR) xLAILA DE CARRERE (FR) for trainer Jaber Bittar. De Vries said: “That actually was not the plan but he jumped so well I had to be positive on him. He is a nice horse and could be a really nice type for next year.”
The winning scenario could not have been more different in the following 2200m handicap with O’Neill initiating his own double when producing the Gill Duffield-trained Takaamul (Djebbel (FR) x Valina Des Fabries (FR) by Djourman) to lead in the dying strides.
Duffield said: “Winning races now in the UAE is so difficult any winner is a bonus so this is a nice victory. That is six for the campaign now and we keep ploughing on but it does get more difficult every season.”
Full Results: [gview file=”http://www.horsereporter.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/ResultsAD-March10.pdf” save=”1″]