x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Sheikh Mansour a win away from clean sweep of Purebred Arabian races

It will be the icing on the cake for Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed if one of his five runners wins the Dubai Kahayla Classic, the opening race of the Dubai World Cup meeting.

Trainer Majed Al Jahouri will be aiming to deliver a clean sweep of the purebred Arabian for Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed. Razan Alzayani / The National
Trainer Majed Al Jahouri will be aiming to deliver a clean sweep of the purebred Arabian for Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed. Razan Alzayani / The National

DUBAI // It will be the icing on the cake for Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed if one of his five runners wins the Dubai Kahayla Classic, the opening race of the Dubai World Cup night.

Sheikh Mansour has scooped up all seven Group 1 prizes for Purebred Arabians this season and a win tonight can seal a remarkable clean sweep.

Majed Al Jahouri, the Emirati trainer, has been responsible for saddling all those winners but conceded Mushrae, trained by Jean Pierre Totain in France and carrying the first colours of Sheikh Mansour, to be the best horse in the field.

Mushrae won the world’s richest race for Purebred Arabians – the €700,000 (Dh 3.56 million) Qatar World Cup at Longchamp on the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe day at Longchamp last October.

“It doesn’t matter which horse wins as long as it is for Sheikh Mansour,” said Al Jahouri, who has four entered – Rabbah De Carrere, Raaziq, Musharab and Naseem – for his principal patron.

The Arabian showpiece and traditional opener of the World Cup card looks to be a wide open race. It has drawn the maximum 16 runners that include the horses that came first, second and fourth last year – Al Mamun Monlau, Versac PY and Nieshan.

Qatar have won three of the past four runnings of the Kahayla and have three entered, representing three different connections and trained by three different trainers.

Ernst Oertel, the two-time UAE champion trainer, has also three entered but is more hopeful than confident of Shayel Aldhabi, Richlore and Skoop.

“Skoop is the better of the three,” he said. “I have two fillies [Shayel Aldhabi and Richlore] and when fillies improve they exceed expectations. Versac PY has been runner-up twice in the past two years and his handler is seeking a change of luck.

“Hopefully it is his turn to win one of these big races,” Frenchman Erwan Charpy said. “We are trying different headgear and have been training him slightly differently. He should run well as always but Mushrae looks the one to beat.”

apassela@thenational.ae

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