MH Rahal aims for 'big race win' in Group 3 Al Ruwais at Abu Dhabi

Somoud heads the field in the President’s Cup Prep

MH Rahal enters the Group 3 Al Ruwais in fine form. Erika Rasmussen for The National
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The Group 3 Al Ruwais and the President’s Cup Prep, both for the Purebred Arabians, highlights Sunday’s race meeting at Abu Dhabi.

RACECARD

4.30pm Jebel Jais – Maiden (PA) Dh60,000 (Turf) 1,000m
5pm: Jabel Faya – Maiden (PA) Dh60,000 (T) 1,000m
5.30pm: Al Wathba Stallions Cup – Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 2,200m
6pm: The President’s Cup Prep – Conditions (PA) Dh100,000 (T) 2,200m
6.30pm: Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club – Prestige (PA) Dh125,000 (T) 1,600m
7pm: Al Ruwais – Group 3 (PA) Dh300,000 (T) 1,200m
7.30pm: Jebel Hafeet – Maiden (TB) Dh80,000 (T) 1,400m

The Al Ruwais over the sprint distance of 1,200 metres has drawn 11 runners including Elise Jeanne’s stable stalwart MH Rahal, the mount of Richard Mullen.

MH Rahal has been a great servant to his trainer and owner/breeder Mansoor Khalifa Sultan bin Habtoor since placing third on his racecourse debut in November 2017 in Abu Dhabi and winning on his next start two weeks later on the dirt at Sharjah.

MH Rahal has four career victories and has either finished second or third 11 times. He has run consistently well in big races and arrives with two victories to his name this season.

The first was over 1,000m at Al Ain in early November and the most recent over 1,700m at Sharjah at the beginning of the year.

Both of those victories were in conditions races but he arrives in Abu Dhabi following an excellent third-place finish in the 1,600m Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 on the opening night of the Dubai World Cup Carnival 10 days ago.

“He is, basically, just a star,” Jeanne said. “He very rarely runs a bad race and is so versatile regarding surface and trip. He deserves a big race win and this looks a good opportunity.”

On official ratings, Arif, trained by Ibrahim Al Hadhrami for the Omani Royal Cavalry, is the one the rest have to beat and Antonio Fresu’s mount holds obvious claims.

Now nine, Arif has two victories in Abu Dhabi and was third on his penultimate start in the 1,600m Group 3 National Day Cup on the track.

Somoud has the most appeal in the President’s Cup Prep run over the 2,200m distance.

Jean de Roualle’s stable star won the Group 1 President’s Cup last year as well as the Group 1 Emirates Championship in the last two staging of the race is arguably the best horse in the seven-race card on the night.

Updated: January 23, 2022, 10:27 AM
RACECARD

4.30pm Jebel Jais – Maiden (PA) Dh60,000 (Turf) 1,000m
5pm: Jabel Faya – Maiden (PA) Dh60,000 (T) 1,000m
5.30pm: Al Wathba Stallions Cup – Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 2,200m
6pm: The President’s Cup Prep – Conditions (PA) Dh100,000 (T) 2,200m
6.30pm: Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club – Prestige (PA) Dh125,000 (T) 1,600m
7pm: Al Ruwais – Group 3 (PA) Dh300,000 (T) 1,200m
7.30pm: Jebel Hafeet – Maiden (TB) Dh80,000 (T) 1,400m

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