ABU DHABI // Dynamite made a stunning return from a campaign in Qatar to regain the National Day Cup for the purebred Arabians while Jaasoos ran a superb race to retain the thoroughbred equivalent in last night's six-race meeting at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.
Dynamite, the nine-year-old gelding son of Bibi De Carrere, made all the running under Royston Ffrench to claim the Dh250,000 prize for Hassan Saleh al Hammadi, his new owner, and his trainer Adam Aghbash.
"He was not 100 per cent when he came in to the stables a month ago but has shown a lot of speed in his work," said Aghbash, who got his trainer's licence this season after spending 10 years as assistant to Ali Rashid al Raihe, Bakhit al Ketbi and Safaldin Deeb in the UAE.
"As he has shown a lot of speed on his workouts, the instruction was to let him run his own race or keep him in first or second. He is nine and has not shown any dislike to race. We'll see how he has come out from this race and decide where he goes next."
Ffrench, who partnered Dynamite to win the Group 1 race in 2006 when trained by Deeb, said it was a wonderful feeling to repeat the feat five years later.
"Five years is a very long time and this horse has retained all his abilities," Ffrench said. "He likes to race in front and when the challenge was up he stayed on strongly to win pretty convincingly at the end."
Dynamite won by more than two lengths from Amoking, ridden by Ahmed Ajtebi, and Nieshan under Gerald Avranche, the same order they raced throughout the mile distance. Jaasoos had to come around a wall of horses to claim the Listed event, also run over a mile.
"We were trapped behind and had to come very wide at the final turn," said Kieren Fallon, the winning jockey. "So under those circumstances, he won very well."
Fallon had to draw all his experience to hold off a late challenge by Jesus Rosales on Black Eagle for a short head verdict, with Pat Dobbs on Clasp a further length behind.
"He came without a prep race, that was the only worry for us," said Dhruba Selvaratnam, his trainer. "But he ran a super race under Kieren. His task was made more difficult because he had to make a lot of ground when making his challenge from wide outside."
Eric Lemartinel, who has saddled three doubles in the last three meetings in the capital, completed another with Chase Me, ridden by Tadhg O'Shea, in the third race, the Wathba Stud Farm Cup, and Albar Lotois under Avranche, in the last race, the Baniyas Handicap. The victory was Chase Me's second in a week while Albar Lotois won for the second time in three weeks.
Cosgrave rode the Jaci Wickham-trained Ma'eror W'rsan to victory in the opener while Antioco Murgia, the Italian apprentice, made all the running on Athena to take the second race for Ahmed al Shamsi, the Emirati trainer.