ABU DHABI //Harry Bentley, the 18-year-old English apprentice, rode the first Listed winner of his career by steering the German-bred McCartney to victory in the President's Cup last night.
The teenager took the shortest way home on the five-year-old gelded son of In The Wings to a win by a convincing two lengths from Escape Route ridden by Richard Mullen. Bentley and Mullen led a one-two finish over the seven-furlong trip for Satish Seemar, the Zabeel Stables trainer.
"I worked him up to a good position close to the rails and once I got the gap and asked him for an effort, he responded very well. He is a pretty good horse and I thought I had a good chance," said Bentley, who took his tally to six winners in the Emirates.
Mullen briefly led on the home stretch before Bentley burst through to go clear on the furlong pole. Jaasoos, ridden by William Buick, finished third. Bentley arrived in Dubai for the winter season on the recommendation of Ryan Moore, the three-time British champion jockey.
"I didn't come here expecting to ride winners but to do riding work and learn all different things," Bentley said. "However, arriving in Dubai seems to have taken off nicely for me."
Kieren Fallon, the six-time British champion jockey, achieved a personal milestone by riding a Purebred Arabian double for trainer Philippe Barbe.
The Irishman won both the featured prizes for the Arabians in the silks of the Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, the President of the UAE, whose nephews, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan and Sheikh Khalifa bin Sultan were present to greet the winning jockey.
Fallon led every yard of the running on Burkan Al Asayl to claim the Abu Dhabi Colts Classic, a prize with Prestige status for three-year-old colts and geldings bred in the Emirates.
He then came with a strong late run on Frynchman to capture the Listed Abu Dhabi Championship half-an-hour later.
"It great feeling to win both of the featured races for the Arabians in the presence of their owners," Fallon said.
He adopted different tactics on the two horses. "I was not in front by choice on my first winner," he said. "I was looking for some company as he was alone in front for a long time, and he felt he had done enough as the field swept past the final bend. I had to give him some reminders, then he picked up his ears and pulled away again.
"The next one worked out quite well. There was a lot of pace and Frynchman likes to be held as he has a good acceleration."
Barbe plans to have them ready for the Triple Crown, a three-race series for four-year-olds in Abu Dhabi. Wayne Smith rode Limited Edition to clinch the opener for Michael Kettle. Dubai claimed the Wathba Stud Farm Cup.