As expected, the Eric Lemartinel-trained Mizzna dominated proceedings at Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening. The winner of last season's Kahayla Classic on World Cup night, she returned to action in the National Day Cup Prep, over a mile and, as she had last year, strode out an impressive winner. The jockey Tadhg O'Shea, sporting the silks of Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was looking around for dangers swinging for home before asking the mare to quicken away and settle the issue in a matter of strides.
O'Shea clearly has a soft spot for the six-year-old whose dam, Alanudd, is considered by many to be the best Purebred Arabian ever to race in the UAE. O'Shea said: "She is pure class and a privilege to ride. I was never concerned as I knew she would pick up when I asked her. That was impressive though." The jockey repeated the dose in the Thoroughbred version of the National Day Cup Prep which he won on Emirates Gold, trained by his employer Erwan Charpy.
The pair looked in control having kicked clear at the top of the straight and O'Shea said: "He has run on very strongly and these conditions bring out the best in him." The opening seven-furlong maiden, in which the local apprentice Ahmad Ajtebi was unfortunately unseated by a stumbling RS Arrafa on the home turn, was won in style by AF Amthaal. Lemartinel and Sheikh Mansoor completed a double when Wadya landed the 11-furlong handicap having been produced with a late challenge by the very capable Gerald Avranche.