x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Adrie De Vries boosts World Cup chances with triple feat at Meydan

Dutch rider banking on good closing show for ride at the showpiece event as O'Shea inches closer to jockey title.

Busker, ridden by Arie De Vries, far right, was the most convincing of three wins for the jockey. Razan Alzayani / The National
Busker, ridden by Arie De Vries, far right, was the most convincing of three wins for the jockey. Razan Alzayani / The National

DUBAI // On an evening of close finishes, jockey Adrie De Vries and his main employer, Mubarak bin Shafya, dominated Meydan's final domestic meeting of the season, combining to win three of the six races, with each leg of the trebles leading close home.

The opening leg of the trio was Petty Officer, produced with a late challenge to beat Sowalym, who himself had only hit the front in the dying strides.

It was a thrilling finish with the winner, losing his maiden tag at the 16th attempt.

The Dutch jockey then produced an identical effort from Busker in the following 1,400m handicap, although he was actually almost a length clear at the line, so fast was he finishing.

They had to await the last race, a 1,900m handicap, to complete their memorable evening with Blue Tiger's Eye leading near the line and then holding the late challenge of Karma Chameleon.

De Vries said: "We were really looking forward to this evening as we knew we had plenty of chances, but to win three was probably more than we could have hoped. We literally led in the last strides with Petty Officer, and it was nice that he has actually now won a race.

Busker was a bit different as I was denied a clear run when I needed it, but then he flew home once I found a gap on the rail.

"Blue Tiger's Eye likes weaving through traffic and, ironically, I actually won on both Busker and Blue Tiger's Eye at the same meeting here in January.

"It is a good way to end the local season here.

"Hopefully I will have a ride or two on World Cup night."

Irish apprentice Marc Monaghan made it seven winners in his first UAE season when producing the Satish Seemar-trained Kaiss to lead close home in a 1,200m handicap.

The winning jockey said: "With the season drawing to a close it has been a great experience and I am grateful to everyone for the chance. I also had a good winner in Bahrain.

"Kaiss was a bit reluctant to load but has really finished with a rattle.

"I will be going home after Jebel Ali next Friday."

Tadhg O'Shea has one hand on the jockeys' title he has won twice before, including last year, after the impressive victory of the Abdulla bin Huzaim-trained Midnight Moon in the 2,200m handicap.

The jockey said: "I was impressed when he won his maiden last time in a race I rode the second, Queen Of Alba. I then won on Queen Of Alba last Sunday at Abu Dhabi so I knew the form was strong.

"It has been a good season again and if I can have a good weekend at Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, I should be able to defend my crown."

That was his 28th winner of the season, four more than his nearest rival, Richard Mullen.

The Musabah Al Muhairi-trained Ramonti Flash won the opening 1,600m maiden with James Doyle in the saddle and the jockey said: "His first run was a very good one and he has fulfilled that promise here.

"They went pretty quick, which helped spread the field out, so traffic was never an issue. He quickened well and then fought gamely. He should improve and could be a nice horse next year."

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