Thakif, Bentley deliver for trainer Al Jahouri
Jockey Mullen rides to three race wins on the evening
ABU DHABI // Majed Al Jahouri saddled all eight Purebred Arabian Group 1 winners last season and began his quest to repeat that feat in style when Thakif won the Race 4 National Day Cup yesterday.
The Emirati trainer saddled the first two horses past the post for his principal owner, Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed.
Thakif, under Harry Bentley, came with a strong late run to deny his more illustrious stable companion Areem, ridden by Silvestre de Sousa, from winning the National Day Cup for a third successive year.
“I knew it would be between these two horses, but it didn’t matter which horse won at the end as long it was from my stable,” Al Jahouri said.
“Thakif proved to be the better horse on the night. He had come into this race with the benefit of a run, and it worked out well for him.”
Thakif was an impressive winner of the Group 3 Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup four weeks ago.
“He’s a Group 1 winner and now we have to keep him up at that level. The Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 is a likely option for both Thakif and Areem,” Al Jahouri said.
“Areem was coming off a longer break [of 280 days], and his preparation was also a bit delayed.
“He should come well from this race. Perhaps a re-match at Meydan in January.”
Areem bowled along with his familiar front-running tactics until Bentley got up on Thakif on the home stretch to win by three-and-a-quarter lengths.
“Areem was the horse to beat in this field,” Bentley said.
“I saw him struggling a bit after the final bend, and then I got to work and got a good run from my horse.”
Richard Mullen, on the Satish Seemar-trained Nine Realms, won the Race 6 Listed National Day Cup for the Thoroughbreds to complete a personal treble on the night.
“He arrived in Dubai late last season and ran a cracking race to take second at Jebel Ali two weeks ago,” Mullens said. “So, we were hopeful, and he did it quite nicely tonight.”
Nawwaar, the winner last year, tried to make all under Dane O’Neill.
But he had no answer to the late challenge from Nine Realms, who took up the running in the final 100 metres to win by two-and-a-half lengths.
Mullen won the first two races on the Jaber Bittar-trained Sataar Al Reef and Sharaf Al Reef.
De Sousa’s hat-trick bid was foiled by Thakif, with the Brazilian winning two prizes in between on Saifaldin Deeb’s newcomer Boss Des Vialettes and Najem S’Heel.
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Published: December 7, 2014 04:00 AM