Monday, March 22, 2010


Shadiyda skips away with Emirates Championship


Meydan generously sponsored the final Abu Dhabi meeting of the season, highlighted by the Group 1 Emirates Championship, over 2200m for Purebred Arabians. It was won impressively by Shadiyda, trained by Eric Lemartinel and ridden by Ted Durcan who produced his mount to lead 200m out and the pair skipped clear to win going away.

Durcan explained: "We know this is his best trip and they have gone a decent gallop so stamina has been important. We broke slowly which was not ideal but I was always pretty hopeful once we turned for home and he picked up nicely. The horse deserved that as he has been on the go throughout the season."


The Thoroughbred equivalent, over the same course and distance, is the Listed Abu Dhabi Championship which was won by the Ali Rashid Al Raihe-trained Monte Alto under Richard Hills. It was a deserved win for the horse who was a model of consistency throughout the Dubai International Racing Carnival and Hills agrees: "The horse really deserved that and it is great for Ali and all the team."

The opening 1200m conditions race was won by Dayrah who made all under Antioco Murgia to deny O'Shea on the fast finishing and probably unlucky Intissar W'Rsan. Trained by Mahmood Hussain, the winner was registering his second career success.

O'Shea soon made amends when producing Af Mursid with a perfectly timed challenge to win the 1400m handicap. Trained by Gill Duffield, O'Shea was hard at work a long way out but his mount responded gamely to fly down the centre and lead on the line. O'Shea said: "He is a bonny little horse and been kept busy all season. It is my best campaign in the UAE and I have been lucky throughout the campaign to ride some nice horses."

That victory almost certainly assured O'Shea the Champion Jockey title and he said: "It has been a good season and I am grateful to all the owners and trainers who have supplied me with winners but obviously to my main employer His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum for the opportunity to ride for him."

Former Champion jockey Durcan produced Jawass with a perfectly timed challenge to complete a double for Duffield and initiate his own in a 1600m handicap. The pair led in the dying strides and Durcan said: "He has not had many starts and will hopefully be able to progress next season.

Gill (Duffield) does so well with this type of horse and he will hopefully be a stronger horse next season."

Apprentice Murgia then completed his own double when winning the concluding 2200m conditions race on Qadi Du Bac for trainer Omar Daraj Mohammed.


Comments (0)

BallHype: hype it up!

Read more articles in the Emirates Racing Authority category.