The 1400m contest, kindly sponsored by Hyrda Properties, produced a thrilling finish with Tadhg O’Shea forcing the head of Grantley Adams in front right on the line, to deny Ali Rashid Al Raihe’s Montpellier – as stable companion Emirates Gold had done in last week’s National Day Cup.
O’Shea added: “I always thought I would get there but all credit to Erwan (Charpy) – it is a great training performance.”
The Al Raihe string appear to be able to do little wrong at the moment and Palapal ran out the facile winner of the 1400m handicap in the hands of stable jockey Royston Ffrench.
The pair were almost last turning for home when badly held up in traffic problems but once Ffrench was able to extricate himself, they flew home to win going away.
Ffrench said: “The season could not be going much better and it is great to be riding for a bang in form team. I just hope it continues.”
Michael Kettle and his apprentice Salima Al Taleei opened their accounts for the season when Adeem won the opening 1600m handicap.
Kettle said: “The horses have been running well and we just needed that change of luck.”
Mohammed Akram saddled Abyan II who was the easy winner of the local-bred 1400m handicap in the hands of Richard Hills who said: “He ran very well last time and has done that comfortably.”
It was a first winner for his trainer.
Rod Simpson is another trainer in good form and Sophie Doyle made it three winners from her last four mounts when Elmalak Elwaheed made a winning debut in the 1400m maiden.
Last of the main group two furlongs out, Doyle’s mount flew home to lead near the line and Simpson said: “That was a good effort from Sophie as she has not panicked after they went very quick early on.”
The concluding 2200m conditions race was won by the Gill Duffield-trained Sakre D’Or who was completing a double for jockey Richard Hills.
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