Al Mamun Monlau captured the Dubai Kahayla Classic, giving Qatar three victories in the past four runnings of the traditional opener of the Dubai World Cup meet.
Dubai World Cup: Al Mamun Monlau wins Dubai Kahayla Classic in photo finish
DUBAI // Qatar seems to be winning the Purebred Arabian bragging rights. Al Mamun Monlau captured the Dubai Kahayla Classic yesterday, giving Qatar three victories in the past four runnings of the traditional opener of the Dubai World Cup meet.
Al Mamun Monlau, under Christophe Soumillon, beat Versac PY in a tight race to the line to give the owner Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad a second successive win in the 2,000-metre race on the Tapeta at Meydan Racecourse.
TM Fred Texas, the winner last year for Sheikh Joaan, was a further two-and-three-quarter lengths back, in third.
Soumillon declared it "a perfect race for me" and said he followed Versac PY, owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, "and when he went clear I switched between horses and chased after him".
He added: "My horse had a lot of ground to make up but in the end he was very genuine to catch the leader in the last stride."
Ahmed Ajtebi, the Godolphin's Emirati rider, set a cracking pace on Areem. They went 10 lengths clear at the halfway mark. Richard Mullen on Sahib Du Clos led the chasing pack as Areem tired on the turn for home.
Paul Hanagan on Versac PY was prominent on the 400m mark looked a winner until Soumillon came with a strong late run to win in a photo finish.
"He was the best three-year-old in France and he liked it here from the day he arrived," said Jean Francois Bernard, the trainer of the winning horse. "He had a lot of gas left halfway round the turn and I thought he would finish well."
Erwan Charpy, who trains Versac PY, was narrowly denied of the prize for the second time; Charh was beaten by Madjani in 2007.
Versac PY had been beaten by by Albar Lotois and Nieshan in his previous two starts, and Charpy thought he was not sharp on either occasion, the reason not to have won the Maktoum Challenge Rounds 2 and 3, respectively, at Meydan. "He did everything right and ran a great race, but we were just not destined to win on the night," Charpy said.
Hanagan had a similar sentiment, saying: "He ran very well. He did everything right but just got nailed on the line. No excuses."
Eric Lemartinel's Nieshan under Gerald Avranche was fourth and Seraphin Du Paon, the 2011 winner of the Kahayla, was fifth under Adrie de Vries in the 16-runner field.