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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 17 January 2021

Mujeeb emerges as a future star at Listed Abu Dhabi Championship

Dahess' colt tastes second success in three starts

Fabrice Veron on board Mujeeb celebrates as he crosses the finishing line in the Listed Abu Dhabi Championship on Sunday. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club
Fabrice Veron on board Mujeeb celebrates as he crosses the finishing line in the Listed Abu Dhabi Championship on Sunday. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club

Eric Lemartinel and his stable jockey Fabrice Veron were given an early holiday gift from Mujeeb on Sunday, as racing took a 17-day break.

Mujeeb was an impressive winner of the Listed Abu Dhabi Championship for three-year-old Purebred Arabians.

Well drawn in gate 4, Veron settled Mujeeb along the inside rail and then nudged along behind the four front-runners until the field approached the final turn.

On the home stretch, the Frenchman cruised to the front approaching the final 200-metre mark to win from the Connor Beasley-ridden Ottoman and Tadhg O’Shea on Al Mansour NF by two and-a-quarter lengths and a length, respectively.

That win was the Dahess colt’s second success in three starts and his handler Lemartinel labelled him as one of the potential stars from the “new generation” at his stables.

“He won first time out on the track and didn’t have the run on his next start, but tonight he was perfect,” the Al Asayl Stables trainer said.

“Obviously we’ll see how he’s come out from this race. We may have a good programme for him, perhaps the Triple Crown. We now have five winners from our crop of three year olds. So we have a nice new generation coming up.”

Veron completed a double on the night on Rashed Bouresly’s Shanaghai City in the first of the two races for the thoroughbreds.

The Frenchman was also atop the Shanghai Bobby colt when he won at Jebel Ali over the 1,000m sprint on the dirt surface nine days ago. He was more impressive over the mile trip on turf at Abu Dhabi.

“This is his third win in four starts, and he was very impressive tonight,” Veron said.

“He took a long time to win a prize [14 starts] but he’s come very close on several occasions. He broke his maiden in his final start last season and that seems to have given him the confidence.”

On his first winner of the night, Veron added: “Mujeeb is learning with experience. He won first time and got flat in his next start. Tonight he proved how good he was.

“There was a lot of pace in the race tonight and I sat behind the pace. He travelled well and when I pushed him on the straight he showed a good turn of foot and won very convincingly.”

Three different trainers, jockeys and owners shared the first three prizes in the seven-race card that included two races for thoroughbreds.

Patrick Cosgrave took the opener on Helal Al Alawi’s Zalman while Fernando Jara was on board Mohamed Daggash’s Hisham Al Khalediah II and Adrie de Vries made all on Jean de Roualle’s Qader in the second and third races.

Tadhg O’Shea won the fifth on Ernst Oertel’s AF Majalis and Bernardo Pinheiro rounded off by taking the concluding thoroughbred handicap on Bahraini trainer Jaber Ramadhan’s Nayslayer with stablemate Rebel Streak in second.

“It’s a nice way to end the year with a win,” Pinheiro said of his ninth winner for the season in the UAE.

“This was his first run for the season and He seems a good horse. He showed a good change of gear to come from a long way behind and win very convincingly tonight.”

Updated: December 20, 2020 09:17 PM

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