x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Nirwan is in great shape, says Watson

The champion trainer Doug Watson reported Nirwan, winner of Sunday's HH The President's Cup at Abu Dhabi, in great shape yesterday.

DUBAI // The champion trainer Doug Watson reported Nirwan, winner of Sunday's HH The President's Cup at Abu Dhabi, in great shape yesterday. Ridden by Richard Hills, the seven-year-old - sixth in the race last year - reacted positively to the application of a visor and delighted his trainer who was winning the million dirham-race for the first time.

"It was a great effort and Richard [Hills] rode a great race. Nirwan is bouncing this morning and in great shape. We will have to think hard about his next race - there is the Maktoum Challenge III over the same course and distance as the Kahayla Classic on World Cup night. Or we could go straight for that race with him as he is a serious racehorse," he said. "And there is always the Emirates Championship over the same course and distance as HH The President's Cup but that is the week before the World Cup meeting."

The same races are being considered for fast finishing runner-up Abu Alemarat. Winner of the UAE Triple Crown last year, he was having only his second run of the season and the trainer Rod Simpson was very pleased. "We may have been a bit unlucky and he was finishing very fast but this is a young horse with a big future in front of him. I may go to Nad Al Sheba [Maktoum Challenge] and try him on the dirt but we have Fryvolous as our main hope on World Cup night," he said.

"We could leave Abu Alemarat on the turf and try and win the Emirates Championship the week before the World Cup but we have a few weeks to decide. However, with luck, he will be a proper racehorse next year as he is still strengthening." Speaking of Fryvolous, who won the main support race on Sunday over five furlongs, he too is in great shape and it is 'all systems go, perhaps via Maktoum Challenge III', towards the Kahayla Classic, according to Simpson.

jsullivan@thenational.ae