Sniper De Monlau showcases President's Cup credentials with narrow win in Prep race
The six-year-old chestnut son of Calin Du Loup, runner up in the President’s Cup almost 12 months ago, prevailed under jockey Patrick Cosgrave over Abu Alabyad and Ziyadd
Sniper De Monlau is back as a leading contender for the President’s Cup for Purebred Arabians after a thrilling victory in the Prep race at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Sunday.
The six-year-old chestnut son of Calin Du Loup, runner up in the President’s Cup almost 12 months ago, prevailed under jockey Patrick Cosgrave over Abu Alabyad and Ziyadd by a neck in the 2,200-metre race.
Jesus Rosales, on Shaheer, set an early pace in the night's feature race. He was followed by Richard Mullen atop Loraa, the defending champion of the President’s Cup.
Cosgrave raced Sniper De Monlau wide of the horses in the middle and this order remained unchanged until they approached the final bend. Cosgrave then got to work and sent Sniper De Monlau to the front where he was challenged all the way to the finishing line by Gerald Avranche on Eric Lemartinel’s Abu Alabyad and Xavier Ziani on-board Ziyadd, making his local debut for trainer Jean de Roualle.
Sauternes Al Maury under Jim Crowley followed them home in fourth with Loraa behind in fifth.
“He’s won well tonight and obviously the President’s Cup in February will be next for him,” said Sniper De Monlau's handler Helal Al Alawi.
“He’s a matured horse from what he was in the last two seasons. He won three races for us as a juvenile and ran two good races to finish runner-up in both the President’s Cup and the Dubai Kahayla Classic on the Dubai World Cup card.
“He was still a baby then. He had a habit of hanging badly towards the finish but he doesn’t do it anymore, as you saw him tonight. He still is a tricky horse to ride and fingers crossed.
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Sniper De Monlau was flown to Qatar and finished fifth in the Emir’s Sword last February and was unplaced in the Qatar World Cup on the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe day in Chantilly in October.
“It was a strong field with last year’s winner in the race," Al Alawi said. "This distance suits my horse and hopefully improve from this run.
“I think we over-raced him last season. He also didn’t travel well when we took him to France.
“We have planned his races for this season to keep him fresh. The President’s Cup, the middle leg of the Al Maktoum Challenge and the Kahayla Classic are his objectives, if he stays in good health.”
Ernst Oertel saddled a double on the night, taking the opening prize with AF Waqqas under Antonio Fresu, and Silvestre de Sousa steering home AF Ssayeb in the fifth race.
The Jean de Roualle-trained Dhamin finally got his first win in his sixth start for the season, claiming the second race with Richard Mullen atop.
The Maria Ritchie-trained Billingsgate took the prize for the thoroughbreds under stable jockey Fernando Jara and Avranche on Lemartinel’s Bainoona bagged the concluding mares Condition race.
5pm: Maiden Dh80,000 1400m.
Winner: AF Waqas, Antonio Fresu (jockey), Ernst Oertel (trainer).
5.30pm: Handicap (rated 0-62) Dh80,000 1400m.
Winner: Dhamin, Richard Mullen, Jean de Roualle.
6pm: TB Handicap (8-79) Dh90,000 1400m.
Winner: Billingsgate, Fernando Jara, Maria Ritchie.
6.30pm: The President’s Cup Prep Rated Conditions Dh100,000 2200m.
Winner: Sniper de Monlau, Patrick Cosgrave, Helal Al Alawi.
7pm: Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (35-60) Dh80,000 1200m.
Winner: AF Ssayeb, Silvestre de Sousa, Ernst Oertel.
7.30pm: Mares Conditions Dh85,000 1600m.
Winner: Bainoona, Gerald Avranche, Eric Lemartinel
Updated: January 21, 2018 09:32 PM