Monday, December 13, 2010
Nesnaas takes HH The President’s Cup prep
There were four conditions races on the Abu Dhabi turf on Sunday evening and the first, over 2200m, the same trip as the Group 1 HH The President's Cup, was won by Nesnaas.
Trained by Gill Duffield for His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, he was ridden by the owner's retained jockey Richard Hills who picked right from three possible mounts for his main employer.
Owner and trainer promptly doubled up when Adraaj won the 2200m handicap but it was Tadhg O'Shea in the saddle on this occasion and he said: "Things are going well and Gill has her string in fine form. He took a while to get going but we just managed to get in front where it mattered."
O'Shea was out of luck in the following 1600m handicap in which he and AF Mursid were caught right on the line by Jawhara Al Reef but it was another fantastic result for Duffield who trains both horses.
Ted Durcan rode the winner who prevailed in a titanic struggle and the jockey said: "It was a really good finish and we were lucky to be in front where it mattered. It is great for Gill whose horses are clearly in great form."
Sheikh Hamdan completed a treble and Hills a double when Aqmaar ran on strongly to deny the same owner's Masharref in the 1600m Abu Dhabi Championship Prep.
The winner, trained by Musabah al Muhairi, was always going very well after a slow start and Hills said: "I was always happy in the race, once we were balanced and in our stride after losing ground at the start. Hopefully he can improve."
Racing finished with a 1400m conditions race, the only Thoroughbred race on the card and a prep for the Listed HH The President's Cup on Boxing Day.
It was won by the Satish Seemar-trained Escape Route under Richard Mullen who said: "He is a great horse to have in the yard as he acts on all surfaces and over a variety of distances. He did that well tonight and can hopefully go close in the big race on Boxing Day."
French duo Eric Lemartinel and Gerald Avranche are always a formidable partnership and combined to win the opening 1400m conditions race with BH Fatan who was having only his second start.
Avranche said: "He is still a big baby and can only improve from that."
Read more articles in the Emirates Racing Authority category.