Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 1 April 2020

Delight for Eric Lemartinel as jockey Fabrice Veron secures Abu Dhabi Fillies and Colts Classic double

Veron made all the running on Dhafra to win the fillies prize and half-hour later brought Maqam from last to first to clinch the colts’ prize

Fabrice Veron guides Dhafra to win the Abu Dhabi Fillies Classic on Sunday. Reem Mohammed / The National
Fabrice Veron guides Dhafra to win the Abu Dhabi Fillies Classic on Sunday. Reem Mohammed / The National

Eric Lemartinel and Fabrice Veron celebrated their first Abu Dhabi Fillies and Colts Classic trainer-jockey double at the capital’s racecourse on Sunday.

Veron made all the running on Dhafra to win the fillies race and half-hour later brought Maqam from last to first to clinch the colts’ prize to complete a dream double in the silks of Sheikha Alyazia bint Sultan.

“Dhafra won on debut and we expected her to improve. She did exactly that, to win more convincingly on her second start,” Lemartinel said of the three-year-old Abu Elemarat filly.

“Maqam is a very relaxed horse. He ran twice in Sharjah to finish second and then first. He improved from those two runs to win again, this time more impressively.

“They will both be four-year-olds from next month and we have a good programme for them to run in the Triple Crown.

“The three rounds of that race series are run over three different distances and I would like to think they can handle the longer distances even better.”

Veron could allow Dhafra to ease past the winning post, the filly coming home four and-a-quarter lengths clear of second placed Sahaba under Richard Mullen.

“She has a lot of natural speed,” Veron said. “She kept going and showed a nice turn of foot to win very easily."

The Frenchman had to adopt a different tactic to claim the colts' prize though, coming from the back of the bunch to win on Maqam.

“He won his last race quiet easily and he did again more easily than he did last time,” Veron said after the colt won by three-and-a-quarter lengths from Alazoum.

“He’s not the best worker in the mornings but he certainly does his job well on the racecourses.”

The Satish Seemar-trained Recordman secured his first win in the UAE in only his second start to win the solitary thoroughbreds race on the six-race card.

Stable jockey Mullen kept the four-year-old Dubawi gelding tucked in fourth for most of the way before moving into the lead in the final 150 metres to win from Erwan Charpy pair Zamaam and Mudaarab.

Fernando Jara atop Skygazer set the early pace over the 2,400m trip closely followed by Veron on Zamaam and Royston Ffrench on Key Bid, but both faded as they turned for home.

“He’s a horse we always liked and he stayed on very well to win tonight,” Mullen said of Recordman.

“He travelled well and when I asked him for an effort he picked up very nicely. He’s versatile and I would like to think his best distance would be 2,000m on the dirt.

“We need to give him a little more time, perhaps another season, and he’ll be a nice horse. He’s got a lot to learn and maybe the [Dubai World Cup] Carnival would come a bit quickly.

“I think next year he can be a Carnival horse. The way he moves and the way he works, he will be a better horse on the dirt.”

Updated: December 15, 2019 09:01 PM

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