x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Partnership between Ahmed Ajtebi and Majed Al Jahouri blossoming

Following his victory in the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayn Cup, the jockey rides Mont Agel for the Emirati trainer in the National Day Prep for Thoroughbreds.

Ahmed Ajtebi rode Areem to victory in the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup for the Emirati trainer Majed Al Jahouri last week. He rides Mont Agel in the National Day Prep for Thoroughbreds. Delores Johnson / The National
Ahmed Ajtebi rode Areem to victory in the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup for the Emirati trainer Majed Al Jahouri last week. He rides Mont Agel in the National Day Prep for Thoroughbreds. Delores Johnson / The National

ABU DHABI // A new Emirati trainer-jockey partnership is quietly forming between Majed Al Jahouri and Ahmed Ajtebi, the Godolphin rider.

With Godolphin being purely an operation for Thoroughbreds, Ajtebi is at times able to leave his day job and ride Purebred Arabians for the Al Wathba Stables in Abu Dhabi.

Ajtebi has been booked by Al Jahouri whenever he has been available and their partnership is gathering momentum after the Emirati jockey rode his biggest win for the young trainer.

He made every yard of the running on Areem to land the featured Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup in the presence of the owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Al Jahouri's main patron, in Abu Dhabi's opening meeting last week.

"It was a privilege to win and meet Sheikh Mansour, which doesn't happen too often," Ajtebi said.

Ajtebi has retainers with Ali Rashid Al Raihe, the UAE champion trainer, and Mohammed Ramadan, but is hopeful his partnership with Al Jahouri will develop further in the future.

"He [Al Jahouri] is one of the Emirati trainers with a lot of potential to make a name for himself," Ajtebi said.

"I wish I will be available to ride for him more often. He has some pretty good horses."

Ajtebi has two rides in tonight's six-race card at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.

He rides debutante Desert Rose for Ramadan in the second race, a maiden for Arabians, and Mont Agel for Al Jahouri in the National Day Prep for Thoroughbreds.

Ajtebi was on Mont Agel when he finished sixth of eight in his first start for the season at Jebel Ali last week.

The race has drawn 11 runners including last year's winner Derbaas, one of five entries in the blue and white silks of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid. Dane O'Neill, the retained rider for the owner, has opted to ride the Al Raihe-trained Derbaas.

"Derbaas is pleasing us at home and we expect a big run but it will be the first time he has raced right-handed for us which is a slight concern," the champion trainer said.

The National Day Cup Prep has also drawn a competitive field that includes Fryvolous, the 2009 winner of the Dubai Kahayla Classic and Nieshan, winner of the President of the UAE Cup last season.

"He has been working well and [trainer] Ernst [Oertel] is very pleased with him," Tadgh O'Shea, the UAE champion jockey who rides Fryvolous, said.

"There are some quality performers in the race but he is certainly one of them and I am looking forward to riding him in a race as he has impressed me at home in the mornings."

Gerald Avranche, who rode Nieshan to victory in the Dh1 million race in Abu Dhabi and fifth-placed finish in the 2012 Dubai Kahayla Classic, retains his ride on the six-year-old chestnut son of Akbar.

"He is a top quality horse and must have a big chance," said Avranche. "Obviously it is his first run back and he will improve with a run under his belt, but it is the obvious race to get him going again."

 

apassela@thenational.ae