March 29, 2023, Dubai Meydan ~ The last two winners of the Group 1 US$250,000 Dubai Kahayla Classic, the traditional curtain raiser to the meeting and the Purebred Arabian equivalent of the Dubai World Cup, are among the maximum field of 16 declared this year.
Last year TM Fred Texas denied the 2011 winner Seraphin Du Paon and both are back seeking a second win in the 2000m all-weather feature but, interestingly, they have swapped jockeys.
Olivier Peslier, who partnered Seraphin Du Paon in each of the last two years, now rides TM Fred Texas with Adrie De Vries, victorious in two of the last three renewals including last year on TM Fred Texas, has been booked by Ernst Oertel to ride Seraphin Du Paon.
Intriguingly, Oertel’s stable jockey Tadhg O’Shea rides stable companion and local debutant TM Junior Johnson, a year younger full-brother to TM Fred Texas.
Oertel said: “This will be TM Junior Johnson’s first start for us and his first outing away from dirt but he is a nice, young horse, with very few miles on the clock. He has been working well and Tadhg O’Shea rides him but there is little between our pair.
“Whatever he achieves on Saturday, he is hopefully a really nice horse for the future.
“Seraphin Du Paon has won and been second in this before so conditions are certainly not an issue. We have put the blinkers on him which we think will help and Adrie de Vries is an excellent jockey on these Purebred Arabians. I have known him a very long time and luckily he was available.
“The horse worked very well the other day and we have a lot to look forward to – but I do think Nieshan is the one everyone has to beat.”
Trained by Eric Lemartinel, Nieshan, fifth in this race last year and second in 2011, won the course and distance Al Maktoum Challenge III for a record third time three weeks ago and will again be ridden by Gerald Avranche who said: “He won the prep race on Super Saturday very well and his work has been good since. Conditions are ideal and he will run well – but this is a stronger race than three weeks ago of course.”
With Majed Al Jahouri saddling no less than five runners for his main patron, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, it is tricky to identify their best chance but, if he stays 2000m, the Ahmad Ajtebi-ridden Areem could be hard to catch if adopting his customary front-running tactics.
Entries By Owner:
Sh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan: Naseem, Musharab, Rakha, Rasikh, Areem
Sh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum: Versac PY
Faisal Al Rahmani: Sahib Du Clos
Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda: AF Alghabra, AF Sanadek
HH Sh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan: TM Junior Johnson, Seraphin Du Paon
Sh Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani: TM Fred Texas, Rich Frynchman, Al Mamun Monlau
Ali Haddad: Nieshan, Albar Lotois
Full Racing Card:[gview file=”http://www.horsereporter.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Kahayla-Classic-entries.pdf” save=”1″]