Jockey Mirco Demuro makes trainer Ernst Oertel's decision to run Daffagh Al Asayl in the Arabian Triple Crown's second round pay off with a late charge to defeat Naseem.
Daffagh Al Asayl trumps Naseem in second round of Arabian Triple Crown
Beaten twice by Naseem in the Round 1 of the race series for four year olds and in the UAE Arabian Derby, the chestnut son of Darike came with a storming late run under Mirco Demuro, the Dubai World Cup winning jockey, to clinch the Group 3 prize at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.
Oertel had the option to run the UAE-bred Daffagh Al Asayl in the Emirates Colt's Classic, the main support event in the seven-race card, but decided to challenge the Majed Al Jahouri's pair of Naseem and Areem for the feature prize.
"He is a good little horse and we've got faith in him," said the South African, who took his tally to 13 winners in his first season in the UAE.
"He is just improving; it's just that he took some time to acclimatise. He is getting better and now will go for the Triple Crown Round 3 [over 2,400m] and that suits him better because he is a distance horse." Naseem, ridden by Wayne Smith, and Areem, under Harry Bentley, made the early running and went clear of the seven-runner field in the 2,200m race.
Demuro got to work on Daffagh Al Asayl as they approached the final bend and overhauled the leading pair as they tired, winning by four-and-a-half lengths.
Versac Py gave the retiring Richard Hills a victory in the sixth race, taking his tally to 496 winners in the UAE.
"It would be nice to step down with 500 winners in a country that has given me so much," said the Englishman.
"There are nine more meetings and I wish I get enough rides to achieve that goal."
Versac Py, who won his fifth race of the season, will now step up in class with Erwan Charpy, his trainer, aiming to run him in the Group 1 Emirates Championship at the final meeting of the season in Abu Dhabi on March 18.
"He has been one of the most successful Arabians in training this season in the UAE," said Charpy.
"It was a little bit of a test for him because the option was to wrap it up for the winter and go for the next season, but he has now already won five races so it's about time to take on the better horses before he takes a break."
The trainer-jockey combination of Eric Lemartinel-Gerald Avranche scored a double by taking the second and third races with Ibn Battuta Monlau and AF Sanadek after Richard Mullen had won the opener on Wajfah W'Rsan.
Carlos Sanchez won the fourth race on Rakkad Al Asayl and Tadhg O'Shea rounded off the evening with a victory in the Emirates Championship Prep, the lone race for the thoroughbreds, on the Doug Watson trained Jutland, who held on to beat Achill Bay by a head.