Dubai March 31~ The 17th edition of the Group 1 US$250,000 Dubai Kahayla Classic went to Qatar for the second time after the US import TM Fred Texas stormed clear in the straight. He beat Seraphin Du Paon by one and three quarter lengths, while Timadit Al Mels finished a further three quarter lengths back in third place.
Two years after Jaafer took the Group 1 PA Dubai Kahayla Classic for the first time to Qatar, the grey TM Fred Texas proved that the Qatari Purebred Arabian racing is in great health.
The five-year-old son of Burning Sand and Queen Kong had sweated up a bit before the start of the 2,000m race, which was run on the all-weather track. Winning Dutch jockey Adrie De Vries, who usually rides in Germany, but who spends his winters in Doha, was over the moon to lift this prestigious race again.
He said: “I had a lovely race. It is great to win it again as this is such an important race.” Adrie De Vries has a great affinity with Purebred Arabians and although he wasn’t favoured by draw number 13, he certainly knew how to ride the track. Albar Lotois, trained by Eric Lemartinel in Abu Dhabi, had taken the lead after no one else seemed to want to go and set the pace. He was closely followed by Fryvolous and Dariya, while the eventual winner TM Fred Texas sat patiently in mid-field.
Coming into the final straight, the order remained much the same, but once they straightened up Richard Hills made his move on Versac PY. TM Fred Texas also quickened and while the His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum owned colt got tired in the last stages, the US import just proved too strong.
Adrie de Vries added: “I was a little bit concerned about the draw, but I could settle him behind Richard Hills. He brought me a long way and I was travelling so well, it was great and I was really never that concerned.”
TM Fred Texas, trained by Ronald Martino, got a little bit hot before the race, but his jockey continued: “He is a bit long in his coat, but it wasn’t too hot today, so he didn’t lose too much energy. This horse only came to Qatar a month ago from America and I was chuffed to ride him and to win this race again.”
Sami Jassim Al Boenain, Chairman of the IFAHR and General Manager of the Qatar Racing & Equestrian Club, added: “I really would like to congratulate His Excellency Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, who started last year in October as an owner. He is very lucky and this time the challenge was very big, because the horse had to travel from the US to Doha and the horse wasn’t feeling well. But then he ran and he is in better form and showed he is a top class horse. I would like to congratulate everyone in Qatar. This is very important and I would like to thank everyone here for organising this event. This was a big step for this horse and we proved that he is a world class horse and I’m sure His Excellency will look toward the Qatar Arabian World Cup at Longchamp in October.”