ISSUE 792 6th April 2023 BARRING A MIRACLE, RECORD EIGHTH CHAMPIONSHIP AWAITS BRILLIANT WATSON
Our Most Exciting Roster Yet Fee: £15,000 January 1st SLF Standing at Nunnery Stud Standing at Derrinstown Stud Fee: £80,000 October 1st SLF Fee: £6,000 January 1st SLF New for 2023 Fee: £5,000 January 1st SLF Fee: €5,000 January 1st SLF Fee: €15,000 January 1st SLF New for 2023 Will Wright: +44 (0)7787 422901 [email protected] [email protected] www.shadwellstud.com Stephen Collins |Joe Behan |Kay Skehan Tel: +353 (0)1 6286228 [email protected] www.derrinstown.com To book a nomination or arrange a viewing, contact: | AWTAAD | TASLEET | EQTIDAAR | MOHAATHER | BAAEED | MINZAAL
FROM THE EDITOR adiyat racing plus.com 3 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 — ALL ABOUT THE TRAINERS, WITH WATSON DESERVING AN EIGHTH! Just like we said “And they’re off!” a little over five months ago, it’s that time of the year when we prepare for our seasonal goodbyes. This Friday’s final meet at Al Ain brings the curtains down on what has been an exceptional season for those involved locally: trainers, jockeys and of course the owners. And while the UAE Jockeys and Owners Championships have been settled with 10-time winner Tadhg O’Shea going ballistic and winning an 11th title with an as yet haul of 60, a score that is 14 better than the 46 secured by his closest rival Antonio Fresu, Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda has claimed yet another success in the Owners’ division: his sixth - and fifth straight - crown so far. Ernst Oertel’s hopes of winning the Trainers’ Championship hang by a thread with the South African, currently third and five shy of leader Doug Watson, who is on 39. Oertel will have to pull the rabbit out of the hat at Al Ain on Friday and win each of the five Purebred Arabian races he has runners in and then hope Watson fails to hit the target in the only Thoroughbred contest on the card. It definitely is cutting it very close, which means if Oertel fails to win the opener, Watson goes through without having to score. The Red Stables’ supremo thoroughly deserves what will be his eighth title having worked through the pain of a seemingly debilitating hip condition all the while ensuring his horses remained in top condition. The title is a just reward for a colossal effort that saw the American handler add three Group level races, including a third Group 2 Godolphin Mile, and two Listed events to his glowing resume. As the season climaxes, Adiyat Racing Plus will cease printing until just before the start of the 2023/24 campaign, but our coverage of global racing and equestrian events will be prompt as ever across our online platforms. See you on the other side… soon! - Duane Fonseca Assistant Editor
adiyat racing plus.com 4 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 American conditioner set to reclaim UAE Trainers’ Championship and cap a season that saw him win three Group level races, including a third Group 2 Godolphin Mile on DWC day. AL AIN REVIEW 30-31 Lagarde, Al Hadhrami and Mullen are Heros in Al Ain. ABU DHABI REVIEW 28-29 A round up of the last meeting of the season in the UAE capital. COVER WATSON Red Stables trainer on verge of eighth title FROM THE EDITOR 3 Time to say goodbye!
adiyat racing plus.com 5 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 News 10-18 Major headlines from around the world. Godolphin News 6-8 Wet Paint gives royal blues hope having hung rivals out to dry with a stunning show in Kentucky Oaks prep. MICHELE MACDONALD 22-23 HOWARD WRIGHT 24 LAURA KING 26 PREVIEW & RACECARD 32-38 MANAGING EDITOR Taha A Taha ENGLISH EDITOR Jason Ford ASSISTANT EDITOR Duane Fonseca WRITERS Mohammed Omer Khuzaima Al Habeeb Mehiar Elmahi Thamer Abdalla REGIONAL CONTRIBUTOR Muttib Al Shammari ART DIRECTOR Mohammad Juma SENIOR DESIGNERS Nadim Ahmed Eng. Mohamed Maher Ismail KV DESIGNERS Nisar Shaikh Navas Muhammed HEAD OF PHOTOGRAPHY Abdulla Khalifa LIBRARY & PHOTOGRAPHERS K. Aboobacker, Ali Juma ADVERTISING/MARKETING [email protected] Tel: 009714 3121231 WEBSITE Osama Shousha Shafeer Ummer Awais Kiani Sarfraz Ahmed For editorial, contact: [email protected] BLOODSTOCK 20-21 Horses in Training Sale at Meydan dishes exciting fare with buyers snapping some really good deals.
GODOLPHIN NEWS adiyat racing plus.com 6 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 By Duane Fonseca Godolphin have a class act heading towards the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks. Wet Paint, a 3yo daughter of Blame trained by Brad Cox, completed a clean sweep of the Oaklawn Park trials for the top fillies affair in the first week of May winning the Grade 3 Fantasy Stakes rather comfortably despite a poor break that saw her trail the field by nearly a dozen lengths. It was her third straight success after previously landing the Grade 3 Honeybee Stakes, which arrived after her win in the Listed Martha Washington Stakes, all over the same 1900m dirt surface. It was three in three for jockey Flavien Prat with her as well. The pair trailed the field after the break and were way off the pace, but hitting the midpoint of the back straight as Wet Paint’s engine warmed up fully, Prat gave her the orders and she started to lengthen her stride which saw her gobble ground quickly and reel in her rivals easily. Once Wet Paint found her mojo the rest were left to fight for the minor spots. She turned for home four wide and with the fate of the race visibly sealed. Gaining the ascendancy at the final 200m pole she breezed to take a two and a half length success with Taxed second and Olivia Twist a further half back in third. Winning trainer Cox added: “Wet Paint had been training really well and handled the fast track which was a question mark for her. "The Oaklawn path can lead to a win in the Kentucky Oaks and we are very proud with what Wet Paint has achieved here all winter. She is an exciting filly and we are looking forward to the Kentucky Oaks.” WET PAINT HANGS RIVALS OUT TO DRY IN KENTUCKY OAKS PREP BOLD, A WINNING ACT In Britain, Charlie Appleby trained Bold Act landed the Woodford Reserve Cardinal Conditions Stakes (The Road to the Kentucky Derby) over 1600m on the allweather at Chelmsford under Harry Davies taking a half length success ahead of Brave Emperor, while another Conditions level victory was claimed by the Henri-Alex Pantall trained After The Rain, who won the Prix de l’Hippodrome de Tours-Chambray over 2000m at Le Mans, France, by two lengths under Tony Piccone. Wet Paint BRAD COX: THE OAKLAWN PATH CAN LEAD TO A WIN IN THE KENTUCKY OAKS AND WE ARE VERY PROUD WITH WHAT WET PAINT HAS ACHIEVED HERE ALL WINTER.
THE FORUM THAT CONNECTS THE EQUESTRIAN INDUSTRY اﻟﻤﻨﺘﺪى اﻟﺬى ﻳﺠﻤﻊ ﻋﺎﻟﻢ اﻟﻔﺮوﺳﻴﺔ :ﻟﻤﺰﻳﺪ ﻣﻦ اﻟﺘﻔﺎﺻﻴﻞ ﺣﻮل ﻓﺮص اﻟﺮﻋﺎﻳﺔ أو ﻟﻌﺮض ﻣﺸﺮوﻋﻚ، ﻳﺮﺟﻰ اﻟﺘﻮاﺻﻞ ﻋﺒﺮ [email protected] For details on sponsorship opportunities or to showcase your business email [email protected] Join us for the fourth audition of Dubai Equestrian Forum in October 2023 ﺷﺎرﻛﻨــــــﺎ ﻓـــﻲ اﻟـــﺪورة اﻟﺮاﺑﻌـــــﺔ ﻟـ ﻣﻠﺘﻘـــﻰ دﺑـــﻲ ﻟﻠﻔﺮوﺳﻴــﺔ ﻓــﻲ أﻛــﺘﻮﺑــــــــﺮ 2023 HOSTED BY/اﻟﺠﻬﺎت اﻟﻤﻨﻈﻤﺔ /اﻟﺠﻬﺎت اﻟﺪاﻋﻤﺔ SUPPORTING AUTHORITY SUPPORTING PARTNERS/اﻟﺸﺮﻛﺎء اﻟﺪاﻋﻤﻮن
GODOLPHIN NEWS adiyat racing plus.com 8 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 Recording the biggest win of his career on his seasonal debut, 4yo Tribalist was probably never headed in Saturday’s 1600m Group 3 Prix Edmond Blanc at Saint-Cloud, always seemingly holding multiple Group One winner The Revenant, winner of the same race 12 months earlier and in 2019. Last season’s Poule d'Essai des Poulains third was soon making the early running, or disputing it, before being sent a length clear by Mickael Barzalona. The Farhh colt continued to travel kindly in front and opened up daylight over his six rivals after kicking for home entering the final 400m. Staying prospect Bandinelli was described by his connections as ‘very honest’ after showing his appreciation for a synthetic surface with a second successive victory in the Queen’s Prize Handicap. Twelve months after coming home the winner of the prestigious two mile contest under Jack Mitchell (when the race clashed with the Dubai World Cup card), the 5yo Godolphin homebred Dubawi gelding repeated the trick under Champion Jockey William Buick to make his seasonal return a triumphant one. Forging clear entering the final furlong, the Charlie Appleby-trained contender kept on resolutely to defeat Duty Of Care, seeking a hat-trick, by almost two lengths. Assistant trainer, Alex Merriam said: “He was a couple of pounds higher than when winning the race last year but he has run another solid race there. William said they went a nice enough pace and he has probably just outstayed them. I think he seems to prefer the all-weather as that is where all his best form is and this race obviously suits him. The Northumberland Plate is a long way off but he ran well in it last year when sixth, and we could end up looking at that again further down the line.” The Revenant and Facteur Cheval attempted to make late challenges but neither could get to Andre Fabre’s runner, who was eased close home to prevail by a cosy length and a quarter. Mickael Barzalona said: “I had a low draw in stall one and saw no point in getting off the rail. Tonalist was in great shape for his comeback. He quickened well and won his race straightforwardly.” It was a third career success for Tribalist, all at Saint-Cloud, having previously won a 1600m maiden and a 1400m Listed contest, both last year as a 3yo. TRIBALIST ADDS GROUP 3 MILE WIN TO HIS RESUME BANDINELLI AGAIN LEADS QUEEN’S PRIZE
THE ULTIMATE RACING EXPERIENCE JARC_OFFICIAL JARCOFFICIAL
NEWS adiyat racing plus.com 10 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 Impressive Fast-Track Qualifier winners Berkshire Shadow, Loubeisien and Queen Aminatu headline entries for Europe’s richest all-weather card, All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Newcastle on Good Friday, 7 April. Berkshire Shadow, who captured the Group 2 Coventry Stakes as a juvenile, heads nine contenders for the All-Weather Mile Championships. Andrew Balding’s 4yo looked back to his best when defeating dual Group One scorer Angel Bleu in the Listed Lady Wulfruna Stakes at Wolverhampton last month. Stan Moore has high hopes for his stable star The Wizard Of Eye, who has been freshened up since an impressive success in the Listed British Stallion Studs EBF Hyde Stakes in November. The Wizard Of Eye was not winning out of turn after several solid efforts in Pattern company, including a close second in the Group 3 Thoroughbred Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. GOOD FRIDAY PROMISES TO BE JUST THAT "TIME OFF DONE HIM GOOD" Moore said: “The Wizard Of Eye is in great form. We decided to freshen him up after Kempton as he had a big campaign last year. He started off in the Saudi Derby last February and had not had a proper break. The time off has done him good.” There is likely to be Irish representation in the All-Weather Mile Championships, with last year’s runner-up San Andreas engaged again for Joseph O’Brien. Chichester is likely to be a leading player for Keith Dalgleish, judged on his easy Fast-Track Qualifier victory over the course and distance in January, while Clive Cox is responsible for Group Three scorer Positive. French challenger Loubeisien (Christophe Ferland) features among a strong cast for the All-Weather Sprint Championships, having taken the Prix Anabaa at Chantilly last month. Fellow Fast-Track Qualifier winners Annaf (Mick Appleby) and Summerghand (David RYAN MOORE: THE WIZARD OF EYE IS IN GREAT FORM. WE DECIDED TO FRESHEN HIM UP AFTER KEMPTON AS HE HAD A BIG CAMPAIGN LAST YEAR. HE STARTED OFF IN THE SAUDI DERBY LAST FEBRUARY AND HAD NOT HAD A PROPER BREAK. Manaafith
NEWS adiyat racing plus.com 11 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 JOHN AND THADY GOSDEN HAVE A STRONG HAND IN THE EASTER CLASSIC AS THE STABLE LOOKS FOR ITS FIRST FINALS DAY WIN, WITH 2021 GROUP 3 WINTER DERBY VICTOR FOREST OF DEAN AND HARROVIAN IN THE MIDDLE DISTANCE HIGHLIGHT. O’Meara) are also entered, with the latter aiming to emulate Alben Star as a dual winner of the 6f contest. HARRY'S COULD RAISE BAR Prolific Irish sprinter Harry’s Bar could line up for Ado McGuinness, while 2021 AllWeather 3YO Championships victor Diligent Harry (Clive Cox) has the opportunity to become the first horse to win two different races on Finals Day. William Haggas’ Queen Aminatu sets the standard in the All-Weather Fillies’ & Mares’ Championships, following two dominant Listed wins at Lingfield Park and Deauville. The 11 entries also include Shadwell’s Roger Varian-trained Manaafith, who made it six from six on the all-weather in the Listed Tandridge Stakes at Lingfield Park in February. Group Three scorer Vadream (Charlie Fellowes) and consistent Aramis Grey (Rae Guest) are also engaged. John and Thady Gosden have a strong hand in the Easter Classic as the stable looks for its first Finals Day win, with 2021 Group 3 Winter Derby victor Forest Of Dean and Harrovian in the middle distance highlight. Irish raider Freescape (David Marnane) could line up after running behind some of Godolphin’s leading lights in Dubai, while the much-improved Zealot (Mick Appleby) has earned a crack at this after winning seven of his last eight starts. The 2020 St Leger runner-up Berkshire Rocco (Andrew Balding) and defending champion Earlofthecotswolds (Nigel Twiston-Davies) are the standard bearers in the All-Weather Marathon Championships. There are likely to be Classic contenders on show in the Listed Burradon Stakes, with recent winners Arabian Storm, Flight Plan, Galeron, Majestic Pride and Obelix all entered in the 2000 Guineas. Forest Of Dean
NEWS adiyat racing plus.com 12 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 Flat racing returned to the UK on Saturday with the landmark success of Migration who defied top weight in the prestigious Lincoln Handicap, something that had not been achieved since 2004, as a 7yo, the first time a horse older than six had won the straight mile cavalry charge since 1998. Trained by David Menuisier for a Gail Brown Racing Syndicate, he actually won pretty easily under apprentice Benoit de la Sayette who also landed the prize in 2021 aboard Sheikha Hissa’s Haqeeqy. Sussex-based Frenchman Menuisier, a former assistant to the likes of Criquette Head and John Dunlop, was seemingly always confident of a positive result in the day’s £150,000 showpiece and had been aiming at the race since the autumn. Menuisier said: "We felt he was so unlucky in the Balmoral at Ascot, he went along the rail and was blocked. He was running off 109 so I always felt he could win a heritage handicap. We've taken our time with him and I genuinely felt we had him spot on. He's so lightly raced, he doesn't have much mileage and he's been giving us the right signals all the way through. We were actually quite confident." Heavy ground might have been expected to take its toll on a top weight, especially in a race such as this with 21 opponents, but Menuisier said: "He's a mudlark, he absolutely loves it, so when the others stop he just keeps going. "I was with one of the partners during the race and I said 'he's travelling better than everybody else, now it's going to be a matter of getting the luck to get through': And he did. The rest is history really. "I think this is the end of handicaps and I hope he can go to the next level. We'll have to look for some black type now. "We'll be patient because he runs well fresh and he's made his money for the year, and for next year as well!" FRENCHMAN’S MIGRATION TO UK REAPING REWARDS
NEWS adiyat racing plus.com 14 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 Billy Loughnane has enjoyed an amazing run on the all-weather circuit this winter, but showed he can be just as effective on turf by winning the first race of the new season on Doddie’s Impact at Doncaster. The Pertemps Network EBF Brocklesby Stakes is the traditional curtain-raiser on Town Moor and attracted a field of 16 unraced juveniles, with €250,000 purchase Valadero the favourite for last year’s winning owners Amo Racing. Favourite backers looked sure to collect when Kevin Stott grabbed the initiative with two furlongs to run, but he understandably showed signs of greenness close home, allowing Doddie’s Impact a chance. Trained by Robyn Brisland, the son of Pearl Secret is named in honour of the late Scottish Rugby Union legend Doddie Weir, with a percentage of prize money won going to MND charities, the disease which cruelly cut short Weir’s life. Showing the tenacity his namesake was famous for, Doddie’s Impact stuck to his task gamely to win by a neck. LOUGHNANE STARS AS DODDIE’S MAKES AN IMPACT IN BROCKLESBY RUNNING IN GOOD SHAPE Loughnane said: “It’s class. Mr Brisland had him in good shape. I’d been in during the week to have a sit on him and I thought he’d go close. “I think he had a tough opponent today, but he knuckled down well and he wanted to win. “I was riding without my claim in that race so it was brave of Mr Brisland to put me up.” Mike Hocking, of Cross Channel Racing who part-own the winner, said: “We’re trying to raise money for the charity and what a story. “It’s all about raising money and awareness for MND to try and find a cure. “We are donating 50 per cent of the prize money to the charity and we have nine other yearlings so anyone can get involved. I can’t tell you if this is the best one though!” Brisland, meanwhile, has loftier in targets in mind for Doddie’s Impact, saying: “It’s an amazing story and fingers crossed they can have a lot of luck. “We can starting dusting off our top hats and go to Royal Ascot now.” A PERCENTAGE OF PRIZE MONEY WON BYDODDIE'S IMPACT WILL GO TO MND CHARITIES, THE DISEASE WHICH CRUELLY CUT SHORT THE LIFE OF SCOTTISH RUGBY LEGEND DODDIE WEIR.
NEWS adiyat racing plus.com 15 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023
NEWS adiyat racing plus.com 16 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 The previously unheralded White Birch caused something of an upset in Sunday’s 1m2f Group 2 Ballysax Stakes as the outsider downed a trio of Aidan O'Brien-trained Derby contenders on heavy ground at Leopardstown. Held up early on by Shane Foley, the John Murphy-trained White Birch produced a late rattle to swoop past favourite Alexandroupolis before holding off once raced maiden Up And Under. The O'Brien-trained Alexandroupolis, who was second favourite for the Derby at Epsom before the Ballysax, could not live with the front two and finished four lengths back in third. Murphy's son and assistant trainer George said: "We're delighted with that. We were very excited coming into today; we always thought he could be a serious horse. "His work had been super coming into today and he was obviously super impressive in his maiden at Dundalk. We're delighted he's done what we had hoped he could do and I think there could be quite a bit more to come as well. He has a big engine." The Ulysses colt is now the winner of his two most recent starts having landed his second and final juvenile outing over 1400m on the Dundalk all-weather late in November. Never Ending Story advertised her claims for Newmarket’s 1000 Guineas after an impressive display in the 1400m trial, although trainer Aidan O'Brien said she may be more likely to tackle the Irish equivalent on The Curragh. Matilda Picotte made most of the running but was gunned down in the straight by Ryan Moore on the favourite, who was making her first start since finishing third in the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac in October. “She is of course not there yet, but rather than working her hard at home we thought we would let her run, and then we could back off and prime her, that was the plan,” O’Brien said. CLASSIC CLUES APLENTY IN IRELAND AND STORY COULD BE A NEVER ENDING ONE “Ryan gave her a beautiful ride; he let her go to sleep and let her come home well. He was happy with her but it was tough ground out there, so hopefully she’ll go into one of the Guineas now and we think there's every chance she might get further than mile. "Newmarket may come too quick for her and Meditate is on target for that at the moment unless things change. At this time of year, a lot of stuff can happen in a week." It was a second victory on the day for O'Brien, who also took the 2000 Guineas trial with hot favourite Hans Andersen, also ridden by Moore. Given a very similar ride to Never Ending Story, Hans Andersen came from the rear of midfield under Moore before pulling away by two and a half lengths. O'Brien said: "We were very happy with him. Obviously we were trying to split the horses up but seven [furlongs] was plenty short for him. The plan now is to maybe go for a French Guineas or an Irish Guineas, maybe on to a French Derby but we always felt he was going to be very happy to go to a mile and further." AIDAN O'BRIEN: WE WERE VERY HAPPY WITH HIM. OBVIOUSLY WE WERE TRYING TO SPLIT THE HORSES UP BUT SEVEN [FURLONGS] WAS PLENTY SHORT FOR HIM. White Birch Hans Andersen
NEWS adiyat racing plus.com 17 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 Interest-ing experiences Enjoy life while your money works for you Enjoy more out of life and do the things you love doing while you earn up to 4.15% interest per annum on new funds deposited to your CBD Current or Savings Account. Offer validity: Until 31 December 2022. Don’t have a CBD Account? Scan the QR Code to download the CBD Mobile Banking App and open your account in minutes. Interest calculation period: 1 October 2022 to 28 February 2023. Earning period: starts from the day you deposit your new funds. Up to 4.15% interest per annum WARNING STATEMENT: If the account balance is below the Minimum balance thresholds, then the corresponding breach of Minimum balance charges will apply. For complete product details and warnings, please refer to the Key Facts Statement document. Commercial Bank of Dubai PSC, Dubai, UAE, licensed by the Central Bank of the UAE. Terms & conditions apply. For detailed terms & conditions and to know more, visit CBD.ae/Savings
NEWS adiyat racing plus.com 18 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 YUTAKA TAKE NOW HOLDS THE RECORD FOR THE OLDEST JOCKEY TO WIN A GROUP ONE IN JRA HISTORY. By Masakazu Takahashi Maurice’s 5yo son Jack D’Or gave the Shadai Stallion Station sire another Group One winner on Sunday when denying favourite Stars On Earth by a nose in a thrilling finish to the 1m2f Osaka Hai at Hanshin. Previously a dual Group Two winner, Jack D'Or led the 16 runners under Yutaka Take at a good gallop before holding off the late challenge from last year's Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) and Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) heroine Stars On Earth, with Danon The Kid just a neck further back in third. The Kenichi Fujioka-trained Jack D’Or was scoring for the eighth time in 14 starts. The previous highlight had been his defeat of this year’s Saudi Cup winner Panthalassa in the 2022 Sapporo Kinen. Owned by Toshiyuki Maehara, he was registering his first Group One title. Take, for whom this was an 80th JRA top level winner, said: "I wanted to take the lead if I was off to a good start. He was a Trainer Andrew Balding is confident Foxes Tales can make his mark back at a higher level after scoring for the first time in more than 18 months when proving a cut above his rivals in Saturday’s Listed 1m2f Magnolia Stakes on the all-weather at Kempton Park. Winless since claiming Group Three honours in the Rose Of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock in August 2021, the 5yo Zoffany gelding was making his second start since undergoing a gelding operation, having finished third in the Winter Derby at Lingfield. Sent off favourite, he bided his time under Oisin Murphy in midfield during the early exchanges before mounting his challenge approaching the final 2f. After sweeping past Secret State, winner of YUTAKA TAKES ANOTHER JAPANESE RECORD CUNNING GELDING PLAN PAYING OFF AS FOXES WRITES FURTHER TALES little keen at the first and second corners, but he understood that and was able to go at a good pace. In these ground conditions [good to firm], I thought that I should adjust the pace to about 59 seconds for the first 5f. After that, I turned into the straight in good shape, but we were facing strong horses. I heard footsteps and I was chilled, and he held them off somehow. I think it is thanks to the connections who have enabled me to ride many famous and special horses that I have reached 80 Group Ones." Take now holds the record for the oldest jockey to win a Group One in JRA history, at 54 years and 19 days. The previous record of 53 years, 11 months and 27 days had been held by former jockey Yukio Okabe. Winning trainer Fujioka added: "As expected, Yutaka won using his ability fully. The autumn target would be the Tenno Sho Autumn, and I would like to choose the steps to it. One option is the Takarazuka Kinen." last year’s King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot, who had kicked for home entering the home straight, the market leader quickly put the race to bed before defeating Rogue Millennium by three lengths. Balding said: “He had a bit of a wide trip in the Winter Derby but he ran well and Lord North went and franked the form in Dubai, so we were pretty hopeful today. He is definitely more focused for being gelded and he is back to the level of form he was showing as a 3yo. “I think last year he was just thinking about things but he has been gelded and has had a good winter off and hopefully he will have a good season. It was either he had to win a Group One last season or have him gelded
BLOODSTOCK adiyat racing plus.com 20 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 By Duane Fonseca Furious bidding wars ensued at the Emirates Racing Authority’s Horses in Training Sale - April 2023 at Meydan Racecourse Tuesday night with Godolphin’s blue bred castaways commanding the highest of the prices being offered. A total of 172 lots had been offered initially with nine scratched off before the bidding process could begin, with just two Purebred Arabians among the total horses that went under the gavel during the sale which was conducted by renowned British and European bloodstock auctioneers Tattersalls in association with the Emirates Racing Authority, the body governing the sport of horse racing in the UAE. While 32 horses were withdrawn, a mere six were not sold. And with buyers keen on snapping up some truly well bred horses, the picks were made well in advance with a few of the names garnering a lot of attention and the bidding process generating immense excitement both for those watching and raising their paddles. One of the most-anticipated names on offer was that of former Charlie Appleby trainee Sovereign Prince (Lot 50), a 4yo Dubawi gelding with an impeccable UAE record. Rated 105 on turf and 100 on dirt by the ERA, Sovereign Prince has three wins to his name in four starts on UAE soil. He remains unbeaten at Meydan in three starts, which includes a victory in the Listed Jumeirah Classic trial on turf in 2022. Last seen finishing a distant 11th in the Group 3 Jebel Ali Mile, Sovereign Prince was a close fifth in last year’s Group 3 Saudi Derby at Riyadh and commanded the highest price of Dh1.3million, which was paid by Hadi for Najd Stud. His former teammate and stable companion Walk Of Stars (Lot 52), another 4yo gelded SOVEREIGN PRINCE’S MEYDAN REIGN CONTINUES IN SALES RING son of Dubawi trained by Appleby, went for Dh1.2m to Athbah Racing. Rated 107 on both turf and dirt, Walk Of Stars won two of his eight starts and was dispatched as favourite for the 2400m Dubai Racing Club Classic on the 2023 Dubai World Cup Carnival programme in January, but he failed to show up and finished eighth behind Enemy, who went on to seal the runners-up spot in the Group 3 Longines Red Sea Turf Handicap at Riyadh in February. The third-highest sum of Dh1.1m was commanded by another Appleby trainee, Bay Of Honour (Lot 41), a 4yo Shamardal gelding rated 99 on both surfaces, who ran thrice on the DWC Carnival programme this year without distinction, but has a pair of wins over a mile to his name back in Britain. Sovereign Prince (Dhs1,300,000) SOVEREIGN PRINCE WAS A CLOSE FIFTH IN LAST YEAR’S GROUP 3 SAUDI DERBY AT RIYADH AND COMMANDED THE HIGHEST PRICE OF DH1.3MILLION, WHICH WAS PAID BY HADI FOR NAJD STUD.
BLOODSTOCK adiyat racing plus.com 21 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 Walk Of Stars (Dhs1,200,000) EMIRATES RACING AUTHORITY ERA HORSES IN TRAINING SALE, APRIL 2023 MEYDAN RACECOURSE Lot No. Horse Purchaser Bid No. Amount 50 SOVEREIGN PRINCE (GB) Hadi - Najd Stud 31 1,300,000 52 WALK OF STARS (GB) Athbah Racing 51 1,200,000 41 BAY OF HONOUR (IRE) Mohd Khaleel Ahmed 9 1,100,000 43 FALLING SHADOW (IRE) Athbah Racing 51 625,000 47 ROYAL FLEET (GB) Dale Brennan - C/o Doug Watson 95 400,000 69 UPPER CLASS (BRZ) Mohammad Faleh Ayedh Al Ajmi 74 380,000 157 ECHO POINT (IRE) Naser Askar 87 380,000 51 TRANQUIL NIGHT (GB) Ahmed bin Harmash 127 350,000 42 COURAGEOUS KNIGHT (GB) Hadi 31 320,000 44 MODERN DANCER (GB) Team Z7 7 320,000 46 PRINCEVILLE (GB) Hadi 31 320,000 49 SILENT SPEECH (GB) Hamad Ghadayer 63 280,000 45 PATH OF THUNDER (IRE) Green Team -Talal Abdul Aziz Bin Muammar 59 260,000 95 NIBRAAS (USA) Green Team -Talal Abdul Aziz Bin Muammar 59 260,000 48 SENSE OF POWER (IRE) Mohammad Faleh Ayedh Al Ajmi 74 220,000 73 SHAKE HAND (USA) Mahdi Salah Mahdi Ali Juma (Fawzi Nass) 46 200,000 94 NAYEFAH (USA) Hadi - Najd Stud 31 150,000 99 WAATHIG (USA) Kamal Nagy Kamal Ahmed Aboushokka 55 120,000 140 FUSION GOLD (CAN) Al Hamad Saud 42 110,000 59 GREEN TEAM STATION (IRE) Turki Abdulaziz M AlSahli 60 100,000 Bay Of Honour was bought by Mohammed Khaleel Ahmed. Placed in a carnival handicap at Meydan this year, Falling Shadow (Lot 43), another Godolphin consignee carrying a turf and dirt rating of 97 each, went for the fourth highest sum of Dh625,000 to Athbah Racing. Godolphin’s Royal Fleet, winner of the 2022 Group 3 Dubai Millennium Stakes, was the fifth top buy and is expected to turn up for Dale Brennan after being picked up for Dh400,000. Antonio Cintra trained Upper Class, rated 102 on both surfaces, was the top selling nonGodolphin horse and went for Dh380,000 to Mohammad Faleh Al Ajmi, the same price at which Echo Point, trained by Simon and Ed Crisford, was sold to Naser Asker. Mohammed Al Shehhi, General Manager of Emirates Racing Authority (ERA), was happy with the turnout during the sale and commented: “We are happy with the large attendance at the auction and the fact it was well attended by owners from various GCC countries apart from UAE based owners. “The Horses In Training Sale is a good opportunity for owners to look into buying horses with real potential. Horses that have participated in racing and won races before. Previous auctions have been a great success and we have seen graduates from the sales achieve a good amount of success under new ownership and I hope those that have bought horses during the auction will stand to gain from winning races in the future.”
COLUMN adiyat racing plus.com 22 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 In the wake of the electrifying 27th renewal of the Dubai World Cup, it feels very much like the curtain has come down on a preeminent part of the racing season. Yet as we spectators await Act II of 2023, there surely will be much to savour in the spring and early summer months as the American and European Classic seasons unfold and Royal Ascot blooms. Results at Meydan imply that owners and breeders on both sides of the Atlantic need to develop more superior runners and, hopefully, be willing to send some of the best far afield to prove their merits (or risk ceding the international realm to Japan) rather than opt for early retirements. In America, that pursuit of the next group of stars has entered the ritually critical phase spearheaded by the Kentucky Derby, and an irrefutable favourite for the Triple Crown series was confirmed on 1 April in the dark bay form of $1 million Florida Derby victor Forte. Already the American Champion Juvenile Male of 2022, Forte not only racked up the fourth Grade One win of his seven race career to date, he also demonstrated he has the meaningful ability to overcome adversity and seize victory from the jaws of what appeared to be certain defeat. LEFT WITH A LOT TO DO Near the rear of the 12 runners early after starting from post 11, Forte was only fifth at the stretch call of the 1m1f race as Mage took the lead. Suddenly, however, Forte began to extend himself so much that his body visibly lowered to the ground with his propulsion. In what seemed to be a flash, the son of Violence surged ahead, ears pricked, and then even geared down as he crossed the Gulfstream Park finish line under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. “I was worried; he had a lot to do turning for home,” admitted trainer Todd Pletcher, who was winning a record extending seventh Florida Derby. “He had to angle out really wide and kind of had a wide trip all the way around there, but he had a pretty smooth run, he just had to lose a lot of ground to do it,” Pletcher added. “It looked like he had a lot to do still at the eighth pole but then really kicked in the last part and found his best stride the last 16th.” All signs before, during and after the race were positive for Forte. — FLORIDA DERBY SENDS FORTE TO KENTUCKY WITH A FLOURISH MICHELE MACDONALD “I WAS WORRIED; HE HAD A LOT TO DO TURNING FOR HOME,” FORTE'S TRAINER TODD PLETCHER. “HE HAD A WIDE TRIP ALL THE WAY AROUND THERE, HE JUST HAD TO LOSE A LOT OF GROUND TO DO IT. IT LOOKED LIKE HE HAD A LOT TO DO STILL AT THE EIGHTH POLE BUT THEN REALLY KICKED IN THE LAST PART AND FOUND HIS BEST STRIDE THE LAST 16TH.”
COLUMN adiyat racing plus.com 23 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 "GETTING BETTER AND BETTER" “He just continues to amaze us. He gets better and better,” Pletcher said. “He handled the stretch out to a mile and an eighth great and actually probably ran a mile and three sixteenths today (considering how wide he travelled). It gives you a lot of confidence moving forward.” Even though he became somewhat sweaty in the warm Florida weather during the post parade, Forte kept himself together despite a large and noisy crowd and lengthy pre-race activities, another good sign prior to the raucousness he will face at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby. “He gained a lot of experience today. That experience hopefully pays off down the road,” Pletcher observed. While Forte is by far the standout among American 3yos at this stage, as well as the overall leader by Kentucky Derby qualifying points with 190, he will still have to overcome the hurdles and opposition ahead. His rivals in Louisville are expected to include not only impressive Arkansas Derby winner Angel Of Empire but two Japanese runners emerging from the UAE Derby in winner Derma Sotogake and third placed Continuar, the latter earning the trip to Kentucky via qualifying points from his Cattleya Stakes win at Tokyo in November. Of course, nothing is easy in racing at the top level. Yet so far, Forte has more than lived up to his name (which means a pursuit or activity at which someone excels) through his near perfect record with six wins and earnings of over $2.4 million. He also has the Classic genes for the job ahead, descending from the same female family as Godolphin mare Contrive, who produced American champion Folklore, later known as the granddam of Japanese Triple Crown winner Contrail, and Delightful Quality, dam of Godolphin’s twice champion and Belmont Stakes winner Essential Quality. Forte is the kind of colt who gets people excited about horse racing. He also is the kind of colt who could not only harvest a Classic crown this year, but who could bring the Dubai World Cup trophy back to America in 2024. FORTE HAS MORE THAN LIVED UP TO HIS NAME THROUGH HIS NEAR PERFECT RECORD WITH SIX WINS AND EARNINGS OF OVER $2.4 MILLION. HE ALSO HAS THE CLASSIC GENES FOR THE JOB AHEAD, DESCENDING FROM THE SAME FEMALE FAMILY AS GODOLPHIN MARE CONTRIVE, WHO PRODUCED AMERICAN CHAMPION FOLKLORE. Forte
COLUMN adiyat racing plus.com 24 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 The orchestra is about to leave, the curtain about come down and the stage about to be cleared: another season of performances from some of the world’s biggest stars is almost over. Racing UAE is set to go into summer hibernation, but already thoughts are turning to the next production. Al Ain closes the show this Friday, and the main actors for the 2023-24 edition will not be decided for quite some time, but the ‘extras’ are being assembled even now. This week’s Meydan sale represented the first stage of certain owners and trainers looking to the future. As for the immediate past, it was reassuring to see that most of the familiar names were back in place in the final tables for trainers and jockeys. Doug Watson wrestled back the trainers’ title from the Seemar stable now directed by Bhupat, which again would have been champion in those countries that decide the issue on prize money. Ernst Oertel completed the inevitable triumvirate at the top, while Musabbeh Al Mheiri and Salem bin Ghadayer did their usual best for local pride, while a new name sliding up the ranks was Khalifa Al Neyadi, who slipped into sixth place with another increased total, having worked his way from six to nine to 11 to 14 and finally to 23 over the last five seasons. Tadhg O’Shea continued to set records on the way to his umpteenth jockeys’ title, with Antonio Fresu ever the champion in waiting, while Ray Dawson, with 33 winners compared to the previous season’s 21, continued his climb towards the summit and took third place. Pat Dobbs made a welcome return to the top four, shading the ever dependable Bernardo Pinheiro, who in turn preceded the old faithfuls Dane O’Neill, whose best ever season of 22 winners was crowned by Danyah in the Al Quoz Sprint, and Richard Mullen, who did well to break 20 for his second season as a freelance. Underpinning everything is the performance of Godolphin, whose pincer movement of Saeed bin Suroor and Charlie Appleby combined for 25 winners from 137 runners, both totals being reductions on the 2021-22 season, when 28 winners came from 159 runners. The chief fall in numbers came from the Bin Suroor axis, which provided 65 runners to last season’s 89, so well done to him for equalling his previous score of nine wins, while Appleby slipped slightly from 19 to 16. Despite only a small drop in the number of winners, Godolphin’s prize money haul was quite significantly lower than the previous season’s, falling from $17.08m to $13.11m, which came during a campaign in which the Dubai Racing Club in particular substantially increased prize funds in certain areas. Two major new races, the Thunder Snow Challenge and Ipi Tombe Stakes, produced interesting outcomes. The Thunder Snow proved a triumph for Bahrain, in the shape of Fawzi Nass’ Salute The Soldier, over Uruguay and Julio Olascoaga’s Atletico El Culano, while Godolphin dominated the Ipi Tombe with a one-two for the Bin Suroor stable and Appleby providing the fourth. The Jumeirah Turf series, featuring five races over three meetings, produced some exciting finishes and Godolphin made hay with three winners. The series is worth pursuing, but if one area needs attention it is Super Saturday, which as was pointed out here last week hardly lived up to its pre-season publicity tag as ‘the official dress rehearsal for the Dubai World Cup’. Maybe the promoters of the Goffs breeze-up sale would be interested in providing a new focal point for Super Saturday with million-dollar races on dirt and turf for 3yo graduates of their sale. Food for thought, perhaps. Meantime, enjoy summer and roll on the next production of Racing UAE. — CURTAIN DOWN, HEADS UP HOWARD WRIGHT
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COLUMN adiyat racing plus.com 26 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 LAURA KING There’s still one final meeting to go of the UAE season, but it would take a fairly amazing feat from Ernst Oertel to grab the trainers’ title now so I think we can safely congratulate Doug Watson on a record eighth championship. He capped it off with Isolate’s Godolphin Mile win, Doug’s third in that event, and in RRR’s star the Red Stables team have an exciting horse to look forward to for the 2023-24 season. Where there’s a winner, there are always plenty who miss out, so we can also congratulate runnerup Bhupat Seemar on an excellent campaign and also on providing an unusual highlight of Dubai World Cup day. One of the more successful social media posts of the meeting was Bhupat’s emotional interview on the World Feed coverage after Switzerland was beaten a short-head in the Dubai Golden Shaheen. Our reigning Champion Trainer is an extremely cool guy, so seeing him choked up provided a human angle to the race. It does no harm for those watching to see just how much these horses mean to those who work with them every day. They lost the race, but this was still a big victory for racing in Dubai and how it is perceived on a global stage. Another unexpected social media highlight of the week was the emergence of Quarantine Manager John Nicholls as a Twitter star. John is a very popular member of the DRC Team and his no nonsense approach has enabled the safe stays of thousands of international equine visitors during their time in Dubai. The job gives him a unique insight into what happens behind the scenes, which he conveyed in a series of entertaining Tweets. As someone who has never worked in a yard, I found it fascinating. Give @JohnNico49 a follow if you haven’t already. Another highlight of DWC week was a visit by the media to Dar Al Khail, DRC’s Rehoming and Rehabilitation Centre. A press conference conducted by Major General Mohammed Essa Al Adhab, General Manager of Dubai Racing Club, shone the light on the centre and the great work done there by Manager Heather Copland, Foreman Rehan Mirza and the team. The group of international media who visited the centre loved it and will hopefully spread the word that in Dubai we’re looking after our horses for the whole of their lives, not just the few years while they are racing. — HATS OFF TO WATSON – AGAIN! Doug Watson
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adiyat racing plus.com 28 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 REVIEW/ABU DHABI The final meeting of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club season was highlighted by the 2400m Group 3 Arabian Triple Crown R3, restricted to 4yos and dominated by Helal Alalawi and The National Stables, their RB Kingmaker denying stable companion Joe Star with a smooth success under Antonio Fresu. Having won the 1600m Listed first leg, Fresu’s mount was then third to Joe Star in the 2200m Group Three second round so, trainer and owners have completed a clean sweep of the series, albeit with two different horses. Fresu always looked confident, biding his time behind the leaders before committing for home in the straight, the result never in doubt once they were in front. Fresu said: “I was pretty confident of a big run and he settled much better than the last time. He is growing up with racing and should be a nice horse for the future.” A decent quality 1400m handicap attracted a capacity field of 16 and looked ultra competitive which it proved to be with at least half the field still in contention entering the final 225m. That was the point at which apprentice Qais Al Busaidi grabbed the initiative aboard Barjah with the pair always seemingly holding on thereafter despite a plethora of opponents closing over the final 100m. THIRD WIN FOR BARJAH A 5yo entire, Barjah, owned and trained by Khalifa Al Neyadi, was winning for the third time. A 2200m handicap for horses foaled locally was won narrowly by Taajer, Richard Mullen in the saddle for Al Asayl and Salem Al Ketbi. Mullen sent the 7yo homebred gelding for home with about 225m remaining and they clung on grimly, the pair registering their third success of the season, second over this course and distance. Mullen said: “That was getting close at the end but he has held on well and he has been KINGMAKER MAKES STAR LOOK A REGULAR JOE IN ARABIAN TRIPLE CROWN RB Kingmaker RICHARD MULLEN: HE HAS BEEN A MODEL OF CONSISTENCY ALL SEASON. HE IS JUST A HORSE WITH A BIG HEART WHO ALWAYS WANTS TO PLEASE.
adiyat racing plus.com 29 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 REVIEW/ABU DHABI RESULTS Race 1: Beau Du Soleil Race 2: Barjah Race 3: ES Sudani Race 4: Taajer Race 5: RB Kingmaker Race 7: Chosen Mark RB Kingmaker a model of consistency all season. He is just a horse with a big heart who always wants to please.” THOROUGHBRED THRILLER The concluding race of the season in the capital and only Thoroughbred contest on the card, a 1600m handicap, was a thriller with a handful of the 16 runners in serious contention entering the closing stages. Ultimately victory went to Ali Haddad’s Chosen Mark, partnered by Bernardo Pinheiro for Ahmed Al Shemaili. AF Marmuq and apprentice Marcelino Rodrigues produced a gallant attempt to make every post a winning one in a 1600m handicap, only to be denied in the dying strides by Fernando Jara aboard ES Sudani, in the colours of Salem Ali Murshed Al Murar for Hamad Al Marar. For horses in private ownership, the opening 1200m maiden was won comfortably by Beau Do Soleil, never going to be denied once sent for home by Oscar Chavez in the colours of Byerley Racing for Abubakar Daud. Runner-up on debut, the 4yo colt’s sole start in his native France, he was making it third time lucky since transferring to the UAE.
REVIEW/AL AIN adiyat racing plus.com 30 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 Basically a two day fixture highlighted by the final of seven races, at midnight, the Al Ain Sprint, a 1000m dash with Prestige status which went the way of Heros De Lagarde under Richard Mullen for Ibrahim Al Hadhrami and HE Al Sh Nasser Mohammed Nasser Al-Hashar. The 6yo entire was actually doubling his career tally having not scored since his debut, over 1200m on the Abu Dhabi turf in February 2021, but he has been a model of consistency this season, placed in all four previous starts and in better company. The admirable Goshawke bounced back to winning ways in the 2000m handicap, produced to lead right on the line by Al Moatasem Al Balushi for Abdallah Al Hammadi and Al Ajban Stables. The 9yo entire enjoyed his career highlight on the dirt at Meydan Racecourse when landing the 2200m Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge R2 on the last day of January in 2019 but has been a great servant to connections; this was his sixth career victory, third on dirt and second at Al Ain. Connections were soon celebrating a double, combining to land the following 1600m maiden for fillies and mares foaled in the UAE with Unbridled who was pretty much last for the first half of the race before finishing with real purpose to lead entering the final 200m and win going away from her rivals. A 4yo, she was registering her first success at the sixth attempt, her best effort before this when a close fourth in an Al Ain maiden over 1800m on her previous appearance. Heros De Lagarde DE LAGARDE & MULLEN BECOME AL AIN HEROS HEROS DE LAGARDE WAS ACTUALLY DOUBLING HIS CAREER TALLY HAVING NOT SCORED SINCE HIS DEBUT, OVER 1200M ON THE ABU DHABI TURF IN FEBRUARY 2021.
REVIEW/AL AIN adiyat racing plus.com 31 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 RESULTS Race 1: Ghassan Race 2: Goshawke Race 3: Unbridled Race 4: Alla Mahlak Race 5: RB Sarab Race 6: Jabr Al Wathba Race 7: Heros De Lagarde Goshawke ALLA MAHLAK WINS EASY The Bouresly Racing Syndicate’s Alla Mahlak, trained by Rashed Bouresly, ran out the relatively comfortable winner of the only Thoroughbred contest, a 1400m handicap, Abdul Aziz Al Balushi delivering him to grab the initiative inside the final 200m with the race soon in safekeeping. An entire horse by Kitten’s Joy, the 7yo was winning for the fourth time but first away from Jebel Ali. The opening 2000m maiden was turned into a procession by Ghassan, never going to be caught after sent for home by apprentice Qais Al Busaidi, riding in the colours of Khadim bin Hamed bin Khadim bin Butti Alhamid for Khalifa Al Neyadi. The 4yo colt was opening his account at the fifth attempt, fourth in the UAE, having only made his local debut in February. Two hours later, jockey and trainer were celebrating doubles after RS Sarab stylishly won a 1400m handicap for horses in private ownership for Mansoor Musabah Abdullah Hamad Al Sinaidi. For the 5yo entire it was a third career success, a second on dirt and at Al Ain having won a 1000m maiden here as recently as December in what has been a busy season. A 1000m maiden for horses foaled locally was basically dominated from the outset by Jabr Al Wathba, probably never headed under Fernando Jara for Jean-Claude Pecout and Al Wathba Racing, the 4yo homebred colt making it ‘third time lucky’ in his fledgling career.
PREVIEW/AL AIN adiyat racing plus.com 32 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 RB Frynchh Dude
PREVIEW/AL AIN adiyat racing plus.com 33 ADIYAT RACING PLUS ISSUE 792 Thursday 6th April 2023 SELECTIONS Race 1: Farah Al Wathba Race 2: Perfect Balance Race 3: ES Abu Mousa Race 4: Rb Free Bird Race 5: Astral Del Sol (NB) Race 6: Majdy (Nap) Race 7: AS Shamoos By Duane Fonseca The 2022/23 UAE season culminates in the country’s ‘garden city’ Friday evening with the Al Ain Cup the pick of contests on a seven race card following which all competition will cease for at least six months. And all eyes will be on defending champion RB Frynchh Dude, who is locally-trained by Helal Alalawi and won last year’s race without much fuss but with the eyes of racegoers on him as he romped to a 14 and a half length success ahead of Goshawke in the 2000m Prestige event for Purebred Arabians. The race is one of six on the card for the breed and will witness the 7yo full son of Baseq Al Khalediah bid for a repeat in the company of strong divisional names. It is bound to be a tougher assignment this time around as title defences generally are with the winner almost always assuming the pressure, but RB Frynchh Dude hasn’t done much this term to suggest making light work of the task ahead particularly since being downed rather comprehensively by Nisren Mahgoub’s Snan, who also runs here, in a conditions event over course and distance in January. Last seen finishing 15th in the PA Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge R2, RB Frynchh Dude should be fresh after his two month break, but Snan might really be the one to catch here alongside Hamad Al Marar’s Suny Du Loup and Oss, who is trained by Abdallah Al Hammadi. When Snan won over C&D he beat Oxford, another entered by Al Hammadi here, by four lengths, while Suny Du Loup has two turf wins at Abu Dhabi to show for his time this campaign and marks his course debut in this having seemingly made his dislike for dirt very clear when finishing three spots ahead of RB Frynchh Dude in the top-tier event at Meydan. Oss carries intrigue with all his five wins gained here, including one over C&D albeit in a much lower handicap in November 2021. The 6yo Valiant Boy entire won his last start here last season and started the subsequent campaign off with victory as well: both 1800m runs, but Al Hammadi will be buoyed by his close third place effort in the PA Group 3 Al Ain Mile four weeks ago when he kept on well and finished strongly. Elsewhere on the card, the only Thoroughbred contest is marked out as a 2000m handicap. Oxford CAN A FRYNCHH DUDE BE KEPT FROM DEFENDING HIS CROWN?