Sunday, January 03 2010
Abu Dhabi stage opening 2010 meeting
The first UAE meeting of 2010 is at Abu Dhabi on Sunday with a six race card highlighted by a 1600m handicap for Purebred Arabians. Thirteen have been declared with Gill Duffield's Royal Class, Doug Watson's Barag and Musabah Al Muhairi's Vite Royale all appearing to hold strong claims.
The one Thoroughbred race on the card, a conditions event over 1400m, looks a cracking contest with a maximum field of 14 set to face the starter. Greek Renaissance, a Group 3 winner for Godolphin in 2007, makes his first start for Erwan Charpy and should be capable of going close despite having been off the track since July 2008. Dhruba Selvaratnam's Ans Bach has a fine record at Abu Dhabi and is feared, while stable companion Born To Be King will find this far easier than his final start in Europe which was in Group 1 company at Royal Ascot.
Monday, December 28 2009
Ibn Battuta finds Listed glory
The Musabah Al Muhairi-trained Ibn Battuta maintained his 100% Abu Dhabi record on Sunday evening when winning the Listed HH The President's Cup, the sole Thoroughbred race on the card, all of which was sponsored by Meydan.
Over the same 1400m trip as his two previous Abu Dhabi victories, he was always going well under regular pilot Wayne Smith and the pair hit the front 300m out. Jaasoos tried valiantly on his inside and Kalahari Gold was closing on his outside but Smith's charge always looked likely to hold on once in front. This success was adding to his wins in a maiden and a handicap and, fittingly, Meydan, is likely to be his next racecourse appearance at the 2010 Dubai International Racing Carnival.
Saturday, December 19 2009
Hat trick of victories for Al Raihe at Ffrench
After last week's Jebel Ali double, trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe combined with stable jockey Royston Ffrench to go one better as the pair registered a treble, winning three consecutive.
Stable stalwart Jet Express started the ball rolling in the 1400m conditions race, before Fathayer won the afternoon's feature, also a conditions race but over 1800m. The prep race for the Jebel Ali Stakes, it was a decent contest and a nice performance from Fathayer who won on the Abu Dhabi turf on his seasonal return.
Thursday, December 17 2009
Stakes prep at Jebel Ali wide open
Friday's sixth meeting of the season at Jebel Ali is arguably the best of the campaign so far with three competitive condition events adding a touch of class to proceedings.
Again, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum is sponsoring the feature through Shadwell and the 1800m conditions race, which will carry the name of Derrinstown Stud, Shadwell's Irish arm, has attracted a quality field of 14.
Saturday, December 12 2009
Thoroughbred feature in Abu Dhabi looks competitive
Racing returns to the Capital on Sunday with Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club hosting their fifth meeting of the campaign on the turf track which has impressed jockeys and trainers alike this season.
Racing concludes with a fascinating 1400m conditions race, the only Thoroughbred race on the card, but the official feature is a 1600m Purebred Arabian handicap for which nine have been declared.
Trainer Eric Lemartinel, fresh from his 1-2 in the Group 1 National Day Cup last week, looks to hold strong claims with Baher preferred to stable companion Dahes on these terms.
Thursday, December 10 2009
Strong field for Jebel Ali feature
Friday's Jebel Ali meeting, their fifth of the current season, is again a six race card with His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum's Shadwell organisation sponsoring the feature, on this occasion a 1400m handicap.
It has attracted a competitive field of eleven and the famous blue and white silks of sponsor His Highness Sheikh Hamdan will be carried by four of the runners. His retained jockey, Tadhg O'Shea has elected to ride Estihdaaf, already a winner this season and trained by Ali Rashid Al Raihe who has made a great start to the campaign.
Monday, December 07 2009
Mizzna digs deep for National Day glory
She was expected to repeat her National Day Cup victory of 2007 but the Eric Lemartinel-trained Mizzna left it until the dying strides before putting her head in front in the 1600m Group 1 contest at Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening.
Gerald Avranche was in the saddle, denying stable companion Shadiyda and Ted Durcan with both runners owned by Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Saturday, December 05 2009
Lemartinel eyes National Day Cup
Sunday is the prestigious National Day Cup meeting on the Abu Dhabi turf, featuring the first two Stakes races of the new season. There are two National Day Cups, both over 1600m, with the Group 1 Purebred Arabian version, kindly sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, taking pride of place.
The penultimate race on the six race card, it has attracted a field of 12 and all eyes will be on 2007 winner Mizzna. Trained by Eric Lemartinel, she missed the race through injury last year but returned from a year off to win the prep race over course and distance three weeks ago. She also won the 2008 Dubai Kahayla Classic on Dubai World Cup night and her only UAE defeat was suffered in that same race in 2007.
Thursday, December 03 2009
Terrific challenge at Jebel Ali
Racing returns to the UAE this weekend with a six race card at Jebel Ali on Friday and the prestigious National Day Cup meeting at Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Again, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum's Shadwell organisation sponsors the feature at Jebel Ali, a 1200m conditions race.
Surprise Package is a withdrawal leaving 15 set to go to post, headed by the Satish Seemar-trained Escape Route, the mount of Richard Mullen. A course and distance winner, he also won a similar race, over 200m less, on the first day of the season.
Wednesday, November 25 2009
Watson and Smith lead the way
With exactly 50 races gone, the 2009/10 UAE racing season has started well with some exciting finishes and notable performances sprinkled throughout the eight meetings staged.
Pride of place has to go to owner Malih Al Basti and Champion Trainer Doug Watson who combined to win four of the six races at Jebel Ali last Friday. Al Basti was sadly absent but Watson was delighted after Bur Dubai, Lord Ego, Alsadeek and Weald all won.
Monday, November 23 2009
Lemartinel’s Baher takes Abu Dhabi feature
Abu Dhabi's third meeting of the season was an all Purebred Arabian card, highlighted by a 2200m conditions race in which only six went to post. However, it produced an exciting finish with a length covering the first three home.
It was the Lemartinel-trained Baher who prevailed under Gerald Avranche, denying a late challenge from Ordoki with Ejaabi a close third. Now eight, Baher was recording a fifth career success and taking advantage of a notable drop in class from the majority of his recent outings.
Saturday, November 21 2009
All Arabian racecard in Abu Dhabi
Sunday's third meeting of the season at Abu Dhabi will showcase six Purebred Arabian races starting at 5pm.
The feature is a 2200m conditions race which has attracted a select field of six. French trainer Eric Lemartinel and compatriot jockey Gerald Avranche were in double form last week and can continue their fine run with Baher. With a promising reappearance under his belt, over an inadequate trip, this appears the easiest chance he has faced in quite a while.