Monday, January 12, 2009

Royal proves his class

The opening round of the Arabian Triple Crown, kindly sponsored by Hydra Properties, over 1600m was the feature race at Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening.

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan’s retained jockey Richard Hills was seen at his very best on top-weight Royal Class, rained by Gill Duffield, who reversed recent course and distance form with Elmalak Elwaheed, who chased him home.

Using different tactics, Hills settled his horse in rear before making smooth progress, through traffic, to lead 200m out and win going away.

Hills explained: “We all learned a lot about him last time and that is why we held him up. I won on him at Newbury (UK) in the summer and knew he had the ability.”

Rod Simpson and Sophie Doyle may have been out of luck with Elmalak Elwaheed but gained some compensation with Time Out who turned the 2200m handicap into a procession.

Doyle explained: “I was hopeful before the race and very happy throughout. He has travelled like a good horse and quickened nicely.”

Wayne Smith was in the saddle on the Saifaldin Deeb-trained Rachidia who ran out the comfortable winner of the 1600m handicap with the jockey explaining: “I was always travelling well and never really concerned.”

Dhruba Selvaratnam and Willie Supple have always been a formidable partnership and jockey Supple celebrated his first ride on the track this season with a winner in the opening 1600m maiden on Selvaratnam’s Quantum Du Croate, the trainer’s only runner of the night.

Supple said: “Dhruba has always been very good to me over the years and it is great to return to Abu Dhabi with a winner.”

The following maiden, over the same distance, was won impressively by the Samir Hawaa-trained debutant BH One who was providing jockey Safwan Al Reffai with his first UAE winner.

The concluding 2200m handicap was won David Badel aboard Hilal Al Eid, trained by Saifaldin Deeb.

For all the results from tonight’s meeting, please visit:

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