Double joy for Simpson
Amith Passela ABU DHABI // It was another night to remember for Rod Simpson. The English trainer rounded off the year with a double that included a superb 1-2-3 finish in the Listed Abu Dhabi Three-year-old Championship last night at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. The riding honours for the Al Asayl Stables went to Sophie Doyle, who won the Listed prize on Elmalak Elwaheed and was back in the winner's enclosure with Time Out for her first career double. Her filly ran out a convincing winner over Palapal and Rafed.
Doyle had bagged her biggest career prize when she brought the filly Elmalak Elwaheed home to win by half-a-length. The biggest disappointment was Gillian Duffield's Group 2 winner and the public favourite Royal Class, who finished more than 10 lengths behind in sixth under Richard Hills. The Lebanese trainer Samir Hawaa picked up his biggest prize in Abu Dhabi when Robbie Burke steered Ibn Abeya to a convincing win in the Abu Dhabi Classic. The Bibi de Carrere colt drew clear on the home stretch to win by more than four lengths from reservist Mehswar under Wayne Smith, and Kelnmat Alser in third.
Celtic Pearl and GRP Baghdad, both drawn out of the reserve list, won the first two races under William Buick and Wayne Smith for the trainers Michael Kettle and Bakhit al Ketbi. Celtic Pearl won by half-a-length from Mountain Fresh and Ricardo, and GRP Baghdad prevailed in a photo-finish from Al Abjar W'rsan under Tadhg O'Shea in the handicap rated 0-45 for the UAE bred. Dhulaima W'Rsan repeated her victory of a fortnight ago for the Jaci Wickham and Richard Mullen partnership from Rachidia and GRP Marudda Ghantoot in the conditions event for the fillies and mares.