Three year olds feature at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club
ABU DHABI // The three-year-olds step into the limelight at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Sunday night with the Group 3 Abu Dhabi Championship, the main feature on a card that includes the Abu Dhabi Colts’ Classic and the Fillies’ equivalent.
All three races are over 1,600 metres and eight have been declared for the feature with two previous winners joined by three debutants and a trio of maidens.
Jockey Royston Ffrench has three winners to his name already this weekend and partners Ahmadani for trainer Helal Al Alawi.
Ffrench was aboard when the horse made a winning debut over 1,200m on the Sharjah dirt in November, although Ahmadani subsequently tested positive for a prohibited substance and was disqualified.
He returned four weeks later, winning again over the same course and distance.
“We have to hope he has a live chance but obviously he has to prove himself on turf and over the trip,” Ffrench said.
Saifaldin Deeb saddles the other previous winner and Harry Bentley takes the ride on Boss Des Vialettes, winner of a 1,400m maiden here at Abu Dhabi on his second start.
The meeting opens with the Abu Dhabi Fillies’ Classic and, again, only two previous winners have been declared.
As a consequence of their victories, both MH Kanz and Munafisat Al Reef have to concede weight to their 12 rivals.
The maximum field of 14 is also set to face the starter in the colts’ equivalent with five previous winners, who are all penalised, among them.
Richard Mullen rides Sataar Al Reef, one of four in the race trained by Jaber Bittar, three of whom are winners.
As in the feature, Ffrench rides for Al Alawi, this time on AL Shabab, successful in the second of his three starts when he beat Sataar Al Reef, but he was along way behind that rival on his most recent outing.
There are four debutants in the field who would not need to be world beaters to make a winning start to their career.
As always, there is just one thoroughbred contest, a 1,400m handicap this week and 13 have been declared in a typically wide open contest.
Trainer Dhruba Selvaratnam will be hoping Canwinn, the mount of stable jockey Oisin Murphy, can live up to his name and he looks well treated having failed to score since March 2013.
Canwinn’s struggles to win make Idler, a winner at Jebel Ali last Friday, more appealing as a top pick in this race for resurgent trainer Ahmad bin Harmash, who made a slow start to the season but has hit form. Stable jockey Adrie De Vries rides.
“He needed his first run this season and won well last week,” De Vries said on Saturday. “The return to turf should not be a problem.”
Ghaamer, Colour Guard and Signs In The Sand are others to consider in an ultra-competitive event.
Published: December 20, 2014 04:00 AM