x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

A winner for Qatar among Purebred Arabians

Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad's TM Fred Texas is 'a classy animal who gives 110 per cent'.

DUBAI // Qatar made further inroads into an area of Emirates expertise as TM Fred Texas became only the second horse owned or trained outside the UAE to win the Dubai Kahayla Classic.

TM Fred Texas, the Arabian Horse of the Year in 2011, extended his career record to 11 victories from 15 starts.

"We have got into racing only last year and the success we have had [last night] surely provided us to go full steam ahead to expand our team," said Mohammed Abdullah Al Manai, the spokesman for Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad, the horse's owner.

Another Qatar horse, Jaafer, won the Kahayla Classic, a race for Purebred Arabians, in 2010.

The Qatari horses were absent on World Cup night last year but the connections were back in the winner's enclosure yesterday.

Drawn in stall 13 of the 14 runners, jockey Adrie de Vries was content to keep TM Fred Texas on the outside and in mid-division as Albar Lotois and Fryvolous, the stable companions of Nieshan and Seraphin Du Paon, the UAE's two fancied runners, bowled along in front under Wayne Smith and Patrick Cosgrave.

The order at the front remained unchanged as the field approached the final bend of the 2,000-metre trip.

Ted Durcan pressed the button on Timadit Al Mels to lead briefly, with Nieshan (Gerald Avranche) and Versac PY (Richard Hills) making their moves.

But none had the pace to match TM Fred Texas, who swept on to take the lead and sprinted away to win by one-and-three-quarter lengths from last year's winner, Seraphin Du Paon under Olivier Peslier.

Timadit Al Mels stayed on pace to take third from Versac PY and Nieshan.

"I was a bit concerned about the draw but I was able to get him settled nicely behind Richard Hills," said De Vries, a native of the Netherlands. "From there, I was never really concerned.

"I knew he would beat these if he was in good enough shape," said Ronald Martino, TM Fred Texas's trainer. "Hats off to my assistant, Hector Castellano. He has been here six weeks with the horse in his hands. I expected to win. He's just all horse, a classy animal who gives 110 per cent."

Peslier, who rode Seraphin Du Paon last year, conceded the six-year-old chestnut son of Akbar was missing a little something.

"He's run a good race, but not as good as last year," the Frenchman said. "Coming out the back and turning in, I was following the winner but I just couldn't get to him."

According to Al Manai, TM Fred Texas, the five-year-old grey son of Burning Sand, will either return to the United States or be flown for a campaign in Europe.

"And if all goes well, he will be back to defend his Kahayla title," Al Manai said.

"He is only five and has been an excellent addition to the string of eight Arabians in the stables."