Thursday, February 16, 2012


Viscount Nelson storms Fort


Mike de Kock and Kevin Shea combined to win the Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort for a third time when Viscount Nelson won the 1600m turf feature at Meydan on a six race card sponsored by Al Tayer Motors on Thursday evening.

It was a fifth win in the race in seven years for Shea and fourth in total for de Kock who also saddled the third, Master Of Hounds. The pair were split by the Doug Watson-trained Albaasil who looked the likely winner when hitting the front 200m out but could not hold the late challenge of Shea and Viscount Nelson.


De Kock said: "Both horses have run great races and it is a great result for the whole team as Viscount Nelson has not been the easiest to train. We will have to think where to go next but Super Saturday is likely with a view to getting him in the Dubai Duty Free on [Dubai] World Cup night. That was a big effort from Master Of Hounds as well and we may keep him on grass now."

Albaasil is owned by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the same owner's Zanzamar won the concluding 2000m turf Range Rover Trophy to complete a double for De Kock.

The owner’s retained jockey Richard Hills was in the saddle and said: "Mike and his team have done well to get him back on the track in such good form as he has had a few problems. He is a nice horse and hopefully can improve from this."

Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe was also in double form with stable jockey Royston Ffrench in the saddle on Zain Shamardal who landed the 1900m Jaguar XF Trophy. Ffrench said: "We have had a great season already and this horse is so tough, consistent and versatile and it is great he has managed a win at the Carnival."

Silvestre De Sousa then won the 1200m Jaguar XJ Trophy on Al Raihe's Happy Dubai who bounced back to winning ways in style. De Sousa said: "I rode this horse at Jebel Ali last week when he showed a lot of speed so I was hoping for a good run. He really quickened when I asked him and it was a good win."

Godolphin's Delegator made a winning seasonal debut for the fourth consecutive year when taking the 1400m turf Range Rover Evoque Trophy under Frankie Dettori to the delight of trainer Saeed bin Suroor who said: "He is a horse we have always really liked and we know he goes well fresh. He did it well today and we will have to look for a race for him – probably over 1600m."

Ryan Moore was in the saddle on Sooraah who won the opening 1600m Range Rover Sport Trophy for UK handler William Haggas. Well beaten on her local debut in the Group 2 Cape Verdi, the switch to the all-weather and drop into handicap company did the trick and Moore said: "She is a useful performer and just ran very flat first time. We knew she was better than that and she proved it this evening."


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