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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 February 2019

Al Shamoos aims for third successive Group 1 title at HH The President’s Cup

Five-year-old mare looking to follow up on her success in the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crow

Al Shamoos pictured winnng the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown in November. Pawan Singh / The National
Al Shamoos pictured winnng the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown in November. Pawan Singh / The National

Al Shamoos has made the long journey from France in an attempt to win another lucrative prize for the Purebred Arabians at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.

Trained by Charles Guardain for Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed, the five-year-old mare lines up in the Dh2.5million Group 1 HH The President’s Cup on Sunday.

It means she will be bidding for a third successive Group 1 title, while aiming to become the first international runner to claim the HH The President’s Cup for Purebred Arabians.

Al Shamoos won the Dh5million Group 1 Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown, the world’s richest race for Arabians, in Abu Dhabi on November. That success came immediately after her first Group 1 title in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in October.

Al Shamoos will have to overcome a strong challenge posed by local entries, especially from Jean de Roualle and Eric Lemartinel, with both trainers having entered seven runners between them in a field of 16.

De Roualle sends out last year’s runner-up Ziyadd along with Rmmas and Ajjaj, while Lemartinel’s challenge is spearheaded by 2015 winner Abu Alabyad. His other entries are Darius De Paon, sixth last year, Amwaj, and Shaheer.

Ali Rashid Al Raihe is double handed in the race with defending champion Al Zahir and AF Mahshoum. Omani trainer Younis Al Kalbani also has two entered with Jaser – the winner of the HH The President Cup Prep three weeks ago – and BF Mughader.

Abdallah Al Hammadi’s Goshawke makes a quick return after winning the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round-2 at Meydan 11 days ago.

Meanwhile, the thoroughbred version of HH The President’s Cup, run over 1,400m, also looks set to be a fiercely-contested race with the maximum field of 14.

Legendary Lunch, trained by Fawzi Nass, returns to the track where he had his only local success when scoring over the course and distance in a handicap on January 20.

He was runner-up to Riflescope over 1,200m on turf at Meydan last Saturday to give the Bahraini trainer serious claims for the Listed prize.

“He won well here on his last visit and ran well enough at Meydan,” Nass said. “We know conditions suit him so, hopefully, he can go close.”

Ahmad bin Harmash, who is enjoying his best ever season with 18 winners already, sends out Rodaini, who has had five starts this season, all on the Meydan dirt, with one victory.

He was runner-up and third respectively in his first two starts, both over 1,600m, before a victory over 1,400m. Stepping up in class in the Dubai World Cup Carnival, he finished sixth in each of his last two starts.

Returning to turf for the first time in 11 months, Radaini is expected to contend, although Legendary Lunch (Gate 12) and Rodaini (14) both have to deal with wide draws.

Musabah Al Muhairi’s Zainhom is drawn in Gate 4, and will be another challenging for the prize.

Updated: February 9, 2019 03:19 PM

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