x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Jaasoos hits the accelerator

Trainer Dhruba Selvaratnam intends to ready the seven year old for the Dubai Racing Carnival after winning the President Of The UAE Cup in Abu Dhabi.

ABU DHABI // Jaasoos avenged his defeat to Il Grande Maurizio in the National Day Cup by winning the President Of The UAE Cup last night and provided the jockey James Doyle with the first Listed winner of his career.

Doyle had the seven-year-old gelding racing along the rails in mid-division and came through an opening on the final bend before stepping on the accelerator on the final 200-metre pole to win by two-and-a-quarter lengths from Escape Route under Richard Mullen.

"He was unlucky last time because the winner of that race got the first run, but he proved the better horse tonight from a good draw," said Doyle, who has ridden 12 winners in his first winter in the UAE. "It has been a wonderful first season for me so far and my first career win in a Listed race."

For Jaasoos, it was the fourth win in Abu Dhabi; previous victories came in a handicap and twice in the National Day Cup. A third win in that race was foiled by Il Grande Maurizio three weeks ago.

"He loves this track in Abu Dhabi," said Dhruba Selvaratnam, the trainer. "He was very unlucky not to have completed a hat-trick in the National Day Cup but he made up for it by winning another Listed prize."

He said that Jaasoos was drawn wide in both previous starts this season, including the 14th gate at Meydan when he ran second to Alazeyab. He was second again in Abu Dhabi last time out.

Selvaratnam described Jaasoos as "lightly raced for a seven year old" and said he will next run at the Dubai World Cup Carnival.

Finjaan, ridden by Tadgh O'Shea, finished a further two-and-a-quarter lengths back, in third, ahead of Tertio Bloom, the Swedish raider, in the 13-runner field over the 1,400-metre route.

Il Grande Maurizio, winner of his three previous races, including two in Abu Dhabi, finished ninth after coming out the widest of the 13 runners.

O'Shea won the first two prizes, the Abu Dhabi Fillies Classic for the trainer Eric Lemartinel and the Colts Classic for Mohammed Al Ketbi, to take his tally in the jockeys' championship to 21 victories.

He steered AF Al Hemah to win the opener quite comfortably but had to squeeze through an opening to take the next by a head from AF Sanadek under Gerald Avranche.

"He would have won more comfortably had he got a clear run," O'Shea said of his second winner.

Salima Al Taleei, the female apprentice from Oman, opened her account for the season by winning the Wathba Stud Farm Cup, the fifth race, on Maram.

"I was waiting for this moment for a long, long time," said a beaming Al Taleei. "I have been on this mare twice before and she has run pretty well. I was pretty confident she would improve from those two runs."

Al Taleei was on the bridle until the final 200m pole when she gave Maram a couple of whips to win by a neck from Muntasir Al Ain under Royston Ffrench.