x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Areem stays on plan to win Liwa Oasis

Areem produced a record-breaking effort under the Godolphin jockey Silvestre De Sousa for the Emirati trainer Majed Al Jahouri and owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed to scoop up their fifth Group-1 prize of the season for Purebred Arabians.

Areem carries Silvestre De Sousa to the win in the Liwa Oasis during the 13th race meeting of the season held at the Abu Dhabi Golf and Equestrian Club on March 2, 2014. Antonie Robertson / The National
Areem carries Silvestre De Sousa to the win in the Liwa Oasis during the 13th race meeting of the season held at the Abu Dhabi Golf and Equestrian Club on March 2, 2014. Antonie Robertson / The National

ABU DHABI // Areem produced a record-breaking effort under the Godolphin jockey Silvestre De Sousa for the Emirati trainer Majed Al Jahouri and owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed to scoop up their fifth Group-1 prize of the season for Purebred Arabians.

The six year old set a new track record of 1 minute, 27.60 seconds over 1,400 metres to win the Liwa Oasis from stable companions Rakha and Sardan at the capital’s racecourse last night.

“He’s best over this distance and over the mile. He loves this track and he did it very nicely tonight,” De Sousa said.

Rakha had set a new track record (1:27.64) when winning the prize last year, but she finished six lengths behind in second. “Areem has done his job for the season,” Al Jahouri said. “We planned three Group-1 races for him and he’s won two. If he stays healthy, we will have a similar plan for him next season.

“We may bring Rakha back for another race, perhaps, in the feature race in Al Ain’s final meeting on March 20.”

Nymphea Du Paon was awarded the Arabian Triple Crown Round 3 after an objection for interference filed by her jockey, Tadhg O’Shea, was upheld by the stewards.

Ted Durcan on the Eric Lemartinel-trained Swwing bumped into O’Shea’s mount at the 200m mark and then rallied to finish ahead of Nymphea Du Paon by a short head.

“Justice was done at the end,” Ernst Oertel, the UAE champion trainer, said. “She is a long-striding filly and that’s the reason we adopted the front-running tactic. The interference broke her momentum.

“She is a good-hearted filly. The plan is now is to give her another run before the long summer ahead. Perhaps the UAE Arabian Derby on March 16 will be one of the options.”

O’Shea set the early pace on Nymphea Du Paon with Haajeb (Royston Ffrench) and Burj Khalifa (Daniel Muscutt) in pursuit. Durcan had Swwing in fourth and this order remained until they approached the final bend of the 2,400m distance.

Durcan made steady progress from the outside to join Nymphea Du Paon on the home stretch, but the horse hung badly, forcing O’Shea to restrain his mount.

Yet O’Shea got ahead only for Durcan and Swwing to fight back and cross the finish line ahead in a tight finish. Burj Khalifa was another half-length back in third.

Lemartinel was naturally disappointed his horse was stripped of the victory after Durcan had battled back to have Swwing’s head in front as they crossed the finishing line.

“In my opinion the best horse won on the night,” Lemartinel said. “It is true my horse hung, but he rallied back to cross the finishing line first after the filly had got in front.”

Oertel saddled a double on the night, with O’Shea winning the opener aboard Dormilon to take the South African’s tally to 31 winners and equal with Musabah Al Muhairi in the UAE trainer’s championship.

Lemartinel, too, had a double, winning the second race with Naseem Al Reef with Durcan aboard, and the Al Wathba Stud Farm Cup with AF Asefa under apprentice Noel Garbutt.

Harry Bentley rode Covert Desire to victory in the concluding thoroughbred prize for the Emirati trainer Ismail Mohammed’s first win of the season in Abu Dhabi.

apassela@thenational.ae

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