Saturday, February 14, 2009


UAE Arabian Derby to take place at Abu Dhabi on Sunday


Sunday’s eleventh meeting of the season at Abu Dhabi, kindly sponsored by Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, features the UAE Arabian Derby, a prestige event over 2200m for which twelve have been declared.

Royal Class, owned by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and trained by Gill Duffield looks likely to be the Pick Six favourite with Richard Hills in the saddle.

A winner last time, he has top class form in the UK and has to go close.


Stable companion Ektimaal, to be ridden by Willie Supple and also owned by Sheikh Hamdan is another to consider with Rod Simpson appearing to train the main dangers to the Duffield duo.

Daragh O’Donohoe partners Jazeerat Alsadyaat and Ted Durcan is on Elmalak Elwaheed and it would no surprise to see these four fighting out the finish.

Simpson’s Men Abu Dhabi looks the one to beat in the Emirates Fillies’ Classic and the Al Asayl-based trainer is looking forward to the night: “We have live chances in both big races which is all we can ask for. The horses have been in good form all season and hopefully we can continue in that vein.”

Racing concludes with a 1600m turf handicap in which Erwan Charpy would appear well represented with Keep Discovering, Naipe Marcado and Hurricane James all holding chances.

Stable jockey Tadhg O’Shea partners the first named and Charpy explained: “You can make a case for all three but it looks a competitive race.”

Doug Watson also saddles three with T-Bird making most appeal, while Montpelier may prove best of the Ali Rashid Al Raihe duo.

Musabah Al Muhairi is another doubly represented and Wayne Smith elects to ride Always Emirates.


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