DUBAI // No Risk al Maury must be considered a favourite for the US$250,000 (Dh918,250) Dubai Kahayla Classic on World Cup day after romping home in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round III for Purebred Arabians last night. The final Meydan Racecourse contest of the Carnival provides valuable clues to the form of runners for what is considered the 'Arabian World Cup' and No Risk al Maury sent out an ominous warning to his Kahayla rivals.
His trainer, four-time Arabian champion handler Gillian Duffield, was initially speechless after her charge's two-and-three-quarter-length victory. "He's the most genuine and honest horse," she said. "He has won two Dubai Stakes in England but people over here don't know him and I'm so pleased that he is showing his class. "He will command respect in the Kahayla but you do have to be a little frightened of some of the horses that will come over from Qatar."
No Risk al Maury, owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, also won the opening race, the Al Maktoum Challenge Round I, at this same venue on January 28 ahead of Santhal who is also trained by Duffield. Richard Hills, the jockey, said there was more to come from the eight-year-old. "I rode him in work the other morning and he felt great," said Hills. "But he's still not at the very top of his game and will come on for this run.
"He's peaking at the right time and hopefully we will see even more from him on the 27th and I can't wait." Godolphin's Mendip, ridden by Frankie Dettori, claimed the Al Bastakiya, a traditional UAE Derby trial, ahead of Della Barba, Jerry Barton's Saudi Arabian runner. Enak, another Godolphin charge, crossed the line in third place.