Mullen bags a special double

The President's Cup winning jockey landed the Ashgatab Gold Trophy on the special race day to mark the visit of the Turkmenistan president.

ABU DHABI // The President's Cup winning jockey Richard Mullen made it a memorable double over the two days by landing the Ashgatab Gold Trophy on the Satish Seemar-trained Montmorency at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. Mullen, who won the Dh 1 million Group-1 race onboard Saifaldin Deeb's Jarnin on Sunday, made every yard of the running to win the seven furlong race for the thoroughbreds from Dan Chillingworth and the top weight Bab Al Bahrain last night. "He disappointed last time over the mile trip but had run a good race to finish third prior to that over the course and distance. He has been training well and ran a good race, true to his potential," said Mullen. The trainer Gillian Duffield had made a sweep of the two prizes for the Purebred Arabians with AF Alghabra and Sakre D'or in the three-race card sponsored by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs on the special occasion to mark the visit of the Turkmenistan president Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. AF Alghabra completed a hat trick this season for the trainer-jockey Duffield-Tadhg O'Shea partnership when she won the Emirates Challenge Cup earlier. The five-year-old daughter of Amer made smooth progress to win from Eric Lemartinel's trio Albar Lotois, Dahes and Naseem Al Reef in the 16-runner field. "That's three wins from three starts for this mare this season," said O'Shea. "She has good turn of foot for a local bred. I had a good rail position on her, and when I asked for her effort, she quickened to win very well." Richard Hills got up in the last stride on Sakre D'or to win the Turkmenistan Gold Cup from Omayade Thabet, who tried to make all under the Italian apprentice Antioco Murgia in the handicap over 11 furlongs. Muzoon De Faust finished third. "He stuck his head out and it was a brave effort," said Hills. The Englishman rode a waiting race and had to come from a long way from behind to steer the son of Al Sakbe to his first win in three starts for the season.