ABU DHABI // Abu Alemarat, trained locally at Al Asayl by Englishman Rod Simpson, sprung a surprise in the featured 11-furlong conditions race at Abu Dhabi's third meeting of the season. The winner of last season's Abu Dhabi Triple Crown, the four-year-old coped admirably with a step up in both class and into open company (having raced against his own age group last season) to defeat Eric Lemartinel's Shadiyda who was strongly fancied to win.
Daragh O'Donohoe was in the saddle on Simpson's charge who was sent to the front about two furlongs out when he quickened decisively and galloped strongly all the way to the line. Simpson was pleasantly surprised: "We hoped for a big run but he had to improve somewhat on what he had achieved in the past. "He appears to have done just that and things are going well this season. Hopefully the horse will improve for the outing as I don't think he was fully wound up."
O'Donohoe added: "I was always happy and the horse responded well when I asked him." With proven Group 1 performers trailing behind him, it was certainly a pleasing effort. The Frenchman Lemartinel enjoyed more luck elsewhere on the card and saddled Remal to win the valuable 11-furlong handicap and Alama to land the opening mile maiden. Countryman Gerald Avranche, stable jockey to champion trainer in Bahrain Allan Smith, was in the saddle on both and said: "Abu Dhabi is a lucky track for me and I have ridden some nice winners here. It is nice to visit and get the chance to ride these good horses."
Gill Duffield seldom leaves the capital's racecourse empty handed and champion jockey Ted Durcan was in the saddle when her Muntaliq won an earlier 11-furlong conditions race in the famous blue and white colours of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Nizamuddin Fakhruddin had opened his UAE account at last Sunday's Abu Dhabi meeting when CS Patriarch won and the same horse doubled the trainer's tally in the mile handicap. Chris Taylor was in the saddle again.
It was Tony Manuel and Adrian Nicholls' turn to open their accounts for the season in the concluding 11-furlong maiden which was won by their Dorfol De Brugere in the colours of Dubai-based Mrs Fitriani Hay. email@example.com