x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Twice the fun for Ffrench at National Day Cup

Royston Ffrench doubled his pleasure at the National Day Cup, riding Shaib Du Clos and Il Grande Maurizio to wins.

Royston Ffrench, left, doubled his pleasure at the National Day Cup, riding Sahib Du Clos to victory here. Earlier, he had ridden Il Grande Maurizio to a win.
Royston Ffrench, left, doubled his pleasure at the National Day Cup, riding Sahib Du Clos to victory here. Earlier, he had ridden Il Grande Maurizio to a win.

ABU DHABI // Royston Ffrench rode up a National Day Cup double Sunday night, winning the Group 1 prize for Purebred Arabians on Sahib Du Clos and the Listed race for the thoroughbreds on Il Grande Maurizio.

"It is a very, very satisfying night because it doesn't always work like this, but when it does, every jockey is very happy," said Ffrench, after riding the two winners for two different trainers at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.

Il Grande Maurizio is from the Grand Stand Stables of the UAE champion trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe, where Ffrench is the stable jockey.

Sahib Du Clos is trained by Saifaldin Deeb in Sharjah.

Ffrench's victory on Il Grande Maurizio denied Jaasoos his third National Day Cup in a row. Both are set to return for the President's Cup in December.

Dhruba Selvaratnam, the trainer of Jaasoos, said coming out from gate 12, the widest in the 12-runner race over the mile trip, made it difficult on his horse.

"He was very unlucky because he had to come around a wall of horses," said the Jebel Ali trainer.

Jilani Siddiqui, the assistant to Al Raihe, said: "It was the boss's idea to run him in Abu Dhabi. He had some problems last year but showed he is back in form with a fluent win at the Meydan Racecourse more than two weeks ago.

"We will see how he has come out from this race and hopefully he will return to Abu Dhabi for the President's Cup."

Ffrench said of Il Grande Maurzio:"He is a horse that is able to travel on the pace, which is what you need in Abu Dhabi because of its short run-in. He has done it well as he did when he came out for his first race of the season at Meydan."

Ffrench added that Sahib Du Clos: "Was not the fancied horse on paper, with a rating of 80 in a Group 1 race, but his connections came full of confidence with the horse, and it worked out very, very well for them.

"Obviously, his team knew what he was capable of. He is still a young horse, and I would like to think he has plenty of scope to improve.

"He has run only five times before this race and did remarkably well for his first run in nearly a year. I was lucky to be on him."

The pair left some of the more fancied runners well strung behind them, including the Eric Lemartinel pair Nieshan and Albar Lotois, and Fryvolous, a multiple Group 1 winner, was a disappointing second last.

In the opener, Okba improved from his debut second to take the opener under Patrick Cosgrave, and Jesus Rosales steered Sama Al Reef to victory in Race 2.

Kalid'Or provided the new Tunisian trainer, Sahbi Rajhi, and jockey Gaetan Faucon their first winner in the UAE, and Tadhg O'Shea, on Quite A Show, turned the final race of the evening into a procession.

 

apassela@thenational.ae