The Englishman Rod Simpson, who trains at Al Asayl near Abu Dhabi, is enjoying a great first season at his new base.
Fryvolous highlights his class
DUBAI // The Englishman Rod Simpson, who trains at Al Asayl near Abu Dhabi, is enjoying a great first season at his new base and added further big race glory when Fryvolous, ridden by Daragh O'Donohoe won the Group 2 Mazrat Al Ruwayah at Nad Al Sheba on Friday afternoon.
The only Purebred Arabian race on the matinee card, the mile feature developed into a two-horse battle in the straight with Fryvolous prevailing from old rival Paris Gagner - exactly as the gelded son of Dormane had done when the pair clashed over the course and distance three weeks ago. Simpson said: "What a horse and what a performance. This horse could be a bit special and just seems to keep improving. We will be back in three weeks for the Maktoum Challenge over the same course and distance."
Ahmad Ajtebi made history in the mile handicap which he won on Plavius, who was a first winner for the trainer Abdulla Bin Huzaim. In doing so Ajtebi, who graced the Royal Ascot winner's enclosure in the summer, became the first UAE national to ride out his apprentice claim and was understandably delighted. "Obviously I am excited and proud - especially to achieve this here at Nad Al Sheba, the main track in the UAE. I have enjoyed a lot of help over the years and am grateful to everyone concerned," Ajtebi said.
The Irish apprentice Shane Gorey was in good form in the 10-furlong handicap in which he made every yard of the running on Morghim, trained by his boss Erwan Charpy. Having set a modest pace, Gorey kicked his mount clear entering the straight and never looked in any danger. Charpy was pleased: "Shane has basically stolen that from the front and it was a good effort from both horse and jockey. I was keen to utilise Shane's claim and it has all gone to plan on this occasion."
I Am The Best proved exactly that in the opening seven-furlong condition race to continue the great start to the season made by the trainer Ali Rashid al Raihe and jockey Roytson Ffrench. Having his seventh career start, the juvenile was successfully tried in the UK and made a winning local debut to the delight of Ffrench who said: "He has travelled strongly and run on nicely. It was a pleasing effort."
The trainer al Raihe then saw his Ekhtiaar win the concluding six-furlong handicap with Richard Hills in the saddle. Never far off the pace, Hills kicked his mount clear a furlong out and the race was settled in a matter of strides. Dahteer, a winner over seven furlongs at Jebel Ali five weeks ago, proved his versatility when winning the nine-furlong handicap. He was taken to the front two furlongs out and never looked likely to be headed. The jockey William Buick said: "I was always confident as he was going well from the outset and those around me always looked to be struggling."