Tilal Al Khalediah Runs Downs Stablemate Asfan in Dubai Kahayla Classic

30/3/2024 $1,000,000 Group 1 Dubai Kahayla Classic [Sponsored by One Za’abeel]

$1,000,000 Group 1 Dubai Kahayla Classic [Sponsored by One Za’abeel]

Many predicted a win for Saudi Arabia in the G1 Dubai Kahayla Classic (2000m) for Purebred Arabians, and that’s what happened – but not with the horse most expected.

Unbeaten champ Asfan Al Khalediah floundered in third as his stablemate Tilal Al Khalediah charged away with the win. The winner of the G1 Al Mneefah Cup (2100m) on turf at the Saudi Cup meeting five weeks ago, the six-year-old won his tenth race in 11 starts with a six and a half-length trouncing of Barakka, runner-up for the second year in a row.

Winning rider Adel Al Furaydi grabbed the lead with just over 400 metres to go and from then on he never looked like being beaten.

“Tilal Al Khalediah and Asfan Al Khalediah are the best horses in my stable,” said winning trainer Nasser Mutlaq Alkahtani. “Asfan Al Khalediah faced a lot of traffic today and went very wide. He won ten times in Saudi Arabia last year including six Group 1s so maybe he was a bit tired today.

“Tilal Al Khalediah has been quietly campaigned so was more fresh for today. For one year, he was sick so he started back only in the Al Mneefah Cup in February. When the jockeys asked me last night, I told Adel that Tilal Al Khalediah looks better and that he was going to win.”

“This is the second time for me in Dubai. Tallaab Al Khalediah won in 2018 for us and I hope we can come again next year.”

Jockey Quotes:

Winning jockey Adel Al Furaydi said: “It’s a dream come true. I am very grateful to the owners and the trainers who have trusted me with such a great horse. I’d also like to thank Sheikh Mohammed and Sheikh Hamdan for the opportunity to race on such a grand stage.”

Barakka (2nd), jockey Connor Beasley said: “He’s the model of consistency, take nothing away from him. He travelled lovely and got beaten by a good horse. At the same time he’s put up a good performance with some talented animals behind him. The future is very bright for him and I can’t wait for next season.”

RB Rich Lyke Me (4th), jockey Adrie de Vries said: “Good enough trip, he doesn’t travel anymore like he used to and it makes it very hard work, but he finished up well.”

Falaah (5th), jockey Amur Al Rasbi said: “I’m happy to finish placed where I did because the horse was coming off a long rest. It’s a good result.”

AF Alwajel (6th), jockey Tadhg O’Shea said: “We were leading or on the pace. He’s run a good race to be sixth. He’s a solid horse.”

Dergham Athbah (7th), jockey Alexis Moreno said: “The instructions were to wait with him, ride him quietly, then come with a run out wide from the 1000m. There probably wasn’t enough pace in the race to see him get closer but he’s done his best.”

Alarqam (8th), jockey Mickael Barzalona said: “He ran OK but he’s still green. He will improve, he’s only a baby.”

AJS Jamran (9th), jockey Szczepan Mazur said: “He travelled perfectly well, he just didn’t stay the 2000 metres. We know he is a top-class miler and we just gave 2000m a shot. We’re still happy with how he performed.”

RB Kingmaker (10th), jockey Richard Mullen said: “All his form is on turf, he’s a lot happier on the grass. He can travel, in a race on grass you can kind of put him where you want. It was just the style of racing more than anything. He was on the back foot early and he’s a horse that likes to be filled up with confidence and I was never able at any stage to do that. Never really felt very comfortable, he was on the wrong lead. Best with a return to the turf, I’m afraid.”

Hadi De Carrere (11th), jockey Maxime Guyon said: “He was never able to follow the pace and I’m afraid he was a shadow of himself.”

Suny Du Loup (12th), jockey Jim Crowley said: “He didn’t like the kickback.”

First Classs (13th), trainer Doug Watson said: “Just a wide trip around there and probably just needs a little holiday for the summer.”

~ end ERA