Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 February 2020

Rmmas wins President’s Cup in Abu Dhabi to deny Al Zahir's hat-trick bid

Trainer De Roualle full of praise for his 'easy and lovely horse' whose next outing could be on Dubai World Cup night

Rmmas, ridden by Tadhg O'Shea, wins the Group One President's Cup for Purebred Arabians. Victor Besa / The National 
Rmmas, ridden by Tadhg O'Shea, wins the Group One President's Cup for Purebred Arabians. Victor Besa / The National 

Jean de Roualle described Rmmas as an “amazing horse” after he won the Dh2.5million Group One President’s Cup for Purebred Arabians at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Sunday.

Ridden by seven-time UAE champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea, Rmmas produced a now familiar turn of foot at the finish to deny Ali Rashid Al Raihe’s Al Zahir from completing a President’s Cup hat-trick.

“He did exactly what he did three weeks ago,” trainer De Roualle said, referring to Rmmas' victory in the Prep race in January.

“When you look at the distance between Harrab [fourth on the night], it was half-a-length last time. It was a Prep race and the first race for the season for him, so tonight, it was one and-a-half lengths. It was more or less the same performance from him.

“This horse is quiet and relaxed. He can hold on to all the pressure and he has a good turn of foot. For me, he’s an easy and lovely horse to train.”

Rmmas won the Group Three Al Ruwais over six furlongs and the Group Two Liwa Oasis over seven furlongs two years ago, and he was completing back-to-back victories over the 2,200m distance on the night.

“Last year I was totally wrong and made mistakes after mistakes because I tried to run him over the mile,” De Roualle said. “In fact, he had distance and stamina in the family. Most of the time these Arabians are bred to go the distance with time.”

According to De Roualle, the Group One Emirates Championship in Abu Dhabi on March 14 or the Group One Dubai Kahayla Classic on Dubai World Cup night on March 28 will be the next outing for Rmmas.

“The owners will decide which of the two prizes to go for this horse but either way he can challenge for that prize,” the Frenchman said.

Al Zahir, under Jim Crowley, was returning to the track for his first run since March but he ran a gallant race in defeat.

“He had some injury setbacks and we ran out of time to give him a prep run,” trainer Al Raihe said. “Nevertheless, he ran a very good race.”

Al Raihe and Crowley had earlier won the President’s Cup for thoroughbreds with Taamol but they were denied the big-race double by Rmmas.

Taamol led a one-two finish for the Grandstand Stables and the first three home for owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid.

“He’s in fine fettle and won very well,” Al Raihe said. “This win will also improve his rating (from 102) for us to choose a good race next for him in the Dubai World Cup Carnival.”

Updated: February 9, 2020 08:33 PM

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