Jean de Roualle’s patience to bring Rmmas late in the season for the President’s Cup Prep for Purebred Arabians paid rich dividends on Sunday.
Rmmas, under UAE champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea, came from last to first in a well-timed run to clinch the prize ahead of Harrab at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.
“It was a very good first run,” De Roualle said. “Tadhg rode a beautiful race. This is a good preparation for the President’s Cup in three weeks.”
Rmmas was returning to the racetrack for his first run since the Dubai Kahayla Classic on Dubai World Cup night on March 30. He didn’t show any signs of rust following lay-off of more than nine months.
“There was no need to rush him for the sake of a race,” De Roualle said.
“He’s got a high rating  and needs a minimum 2,000 metres. He may have won two Group races over 1,200m and 1,400m two years ago, but now he’s older and needs some distance races.
“So there was absolutely no race for him early in the season. We need patience in this business. This was a good prep race and now we just keep fingers crossed for the big race.”
De Roualle has made no plans for Rmmas beyond the Group One President’s Cup on February 9.
“I never make plans beyond the next race and my horse will tell me in three weeks’ time where he goes next,” the Frenchman said.
“First thing I’ll do is to see him tomorrow morning on how he’s come out of this race. And then hope we stays healthy for the next race.”
O’Shea raced at the back of the 14-runner field until approaching the 600m mark. The Irishman had to bring Rmmas around a wall of horses and then get up in the final 40m to win by half-a-length.
“It was my first ride for Jean and nice to get a win for him,” O’Shea said of his 22nd win of the season, two in front of his closest challenger Antonio Fresu in the UAE jockeys championship race.
“He’s a nice horse but drawn wide [in gate 10]. Jean told me to ride him with a lot of confidence, to get him breathing and get him on the rhythm. He also told me he’s a hold up horse and it worked out well on the night.”
Connor Beasley rode a double on the night. He won the prize for the thoroughbreds on Simon Crisford’s Craving and rounded off the meeting by taking the concluding handicap for the Arabians atop Helal Al Alawi’s Fertile De Croate to take his tally to 14 winners.