Abu Dhabi // The thoroughbred Master of War and the Purebred Arabian Shateh won the official prep races for the National Day Cups on Sunday night, each run over 1,600 metres, as are the main events.
Shateh made all the running under UAE apprentice jockey Saeed Al Mazrouei and held on well from stable companion Marzooq.
Both are trained by Majed Al Jahouri, for Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, and were making only their second start in the UAE. The pair pulled well clear of their six opponents, including the favourite, Nymphea Du Paon, who ran fourth.
“The plan was to be positive and it worked out well. He ran really well for me last week over this course and distance, so I was pretty hopeful coming into the race,” Al Mazrouei said. “It is great to get this kind of opportunity on such nice horses.”
Master Of War was ridden by UK champion apprentice Oisin Murphy and trained by Dhruba Selvaratnam.
The pair hit the front about 100m out to defeat Naawaar, winner of last season’s National Day Cup and The President’s Cup.
Selvaratnam said: “We have to be very happy with that as we really thought he would need the run. Hopefully, he will be a Carnival turf horse, via the National Day Cup.”
Girl Powerr, trained by rookie Saeed Hadher Al Mazrouei, who enjoyed his first victory last week, doubled her handler’s account with a game success in a 1,600m handicap under Royston Ffrench.
The pair led most of the way and were headed just over 200m out but fought back to lead again at the finish.
“She was very game and has battled very hard to win this,” Ffrench said. “When we were headed, she fought back very bravely and did not want to beaten.”
Jockey Jose Santiago and MH Kanz were forced to work hard to allow the filly to make a winning debut in a 1,400m fillies’ maiden. Seemingly beaten when passed by Huyam 200m from home, Santiago’s mount fought back to lead again close home, providing trainer Elise Jeanne with a first winner this season and a second in the UAE.
Haanoof was the easy winner of the opening 1,600m maiden, given a confident ride by Pat Dobbs for trainer Yousef Al Bloushi. Winning for the first time at the eighth attempt, Dobbs’s mount had been highly tried in the past and relished the drop in class.
Al Shahab was an easy winner in the 1,400m maiden for trainer Helal Al Alawi, with champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea making virtually every yard of the running on the winner.
Third on his only previous start, Al Shahab was far too good for his six rivals here.
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