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Monarch Crowned Abu Dhabi Champ

Drought breaks for Al Hammadi

R V Moulins Monarch provided owner-trainer Hassan Al Hammadi with a career milestone scoring an impressive win in the Listed Abu Dhabi Championship (1600m), the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club`s feature race on Sunday evening.
The Arkan Stables-based horseman was able to celebrate his first winner since the 2011/12 season, his thirteenth as an owner and his fourth after taking a trainers licence.
The former USA-raced three-year-old was ridden by Fernando Jara deputising for the originally booked Richard Mullen, who had been forced to forego the meeting after injuring a hamstring while riding at Jebel Ali on Friday.
“Obviously, it is a shame for Richard,” said Jara. “But it was a nice, late, spare ride for me and he has won well. The trainer was pretty confident and this is a horse who has now had only three starts and won his first one in America also."
RV Moulins Monarch was successful on debut in his homeland in April though was then well beaten in a higher class race before his switch to the UAE.

Moonlight Dash, Mullen`s intended ride in the only Thoroughbred race on the card, a 2400m handicap, had been expected to be very hard to beat but was a race morning withdrawal.

What then on paper appeared to be a wide open contest proved a rather straightforward assignment for the Salem bin Ghadayer-trained Hunter’s Creek under a positive ride from Royston Ffrench.
The pair tracked the early pace until as the runners turned for home fully 500m out, Ffrench decided it was time to put the race to bed.

The four-year-old hit the front before they entered the straight powering through the final 400m to record a comfortable success.

“He has just been finding things happening a bit too quickly over 1600m at his past two runs,” said Ffrench.
“We broke well today so I was keen to keep close to the pace and then, if the opportunity arose, utilise his stamina.
“As it transpired, it all worked out well.”

The opening race on the card the Abu Dhabi Fillies’ Classic (1400m) was won comfortably by debutante Oraib, ridden by apprentice George Buckell.
The Helal Al Alawi-trained youngster was a long way out of her ground at the halfway stage, seemingly having a massive amount to do.

The David Probert ridden AF Laja had set sail for home and turned into the straight with a formidable lead. However, Oraib could be seen sluicing through the pack, on the outside, and took off in pursuit.

AF Laja was clearly treading water at the 200m and was mown down by Oraib who lead 50m from the judge.

“They went pretty quick,” said Buckell. “She was pretty green early on but, when the penny dropped, picked up well.
“It was a good first start and you would hope she can progress from this.”

The young jockey wasted absolutely no time in doubling his big race tally for the evening winning the second race, The Abu Dhabi Colts Classic (1400m).
A F Laja`s defeat in the previous had dashed the hopes of trainer Ernst Oertel and owner-breeder Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda, Buckell though was soon their pin-up jockey leading all the way on the combination`s AF La’Asae.

“He did it nicely,” said Buckell. “I was always happy going a steady gallop out in front and then he found plenty when I asked.
“It was a good win in a decent little race. He can, hopefully, build on this and it is a great privilege to ride for Messrs Al Nabooda and Oertel.”

Tamooh S appeared to be struggling at halfway, in a 1400m handicap, but finished strongly under a determined ride from Jose Santiago to land the spoils for trainer Elise Jeanne.

“She ran on really well in the straight,” said Santiago. “She did well to win.’

Jeanne added: “We had this race in mind for her for a while so it is really nice when a plan pays off.”

The finale, a 1600m maiden, went the way of Maftoon Al Reef, ridden to a smooth victory by Jesus Rosales, a seventh winner so far this season for trainer Abdallah Al Hammadi who has enjoyed a productive period.