Group Action To Close Abu Dhabi

ADEC offers black type as season ends

HH SHEIKH AHMED BIN RASHID AL MAKTOUM’S Dormello will seek to make history at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club’s final fixture of the campaign on Sunday evening.

The club’s major Thoroughbred race the Group 3 Abu Dhabi Championship (2200m), first run in 1993, has never been won by the same horse twice but the Dhruba Selvaratnam-trained eight-year-old entire has every chance of rectifying that by repeating his victory of 12 months ago.

Having already combined to win the race five times, the Sheikh Ahmed and Selvaratnam combination has the best record in the race and Dormello arrives in great form, having won a 2000 metres turf handicap at the Dubai World Cup Carnival on his latest outing.

Stable jockey, Chris Hayes, is not in action here but has been in the saddle as he has been for all four of the horse’s previous outings this season. In form Pat Dobbs takes the ride.

“He won very well the last day and the extra 200 metres here will be in his favour,” said Hayes. “Dhruba’s horses remain in great form and we have to be very hopeful.”

HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum owns five of the 12 runners declared in a race he has supplied the winner on three previous occasions.

His first jockey, Paul Hanagan, chooses to ride the Ali Rashid Al Raihe-prepared Khusoosy, winner of the course and distance prep race on his penultimate start but well beaten behind Dormello subsequently.

Dane O’Neill, also retained by the owner, rides the Erwan Charpy-trained Zamaam who has been running well at the Carnival.

Groor, representing Bahrain and conditioner Ali Jan, looms as a threat after looking in need of this kind of trip when winning a 1600 metres turf handicap at Meydan on his latest start.

The Satish Seemar-trained Cross Grain is an interesting runner.

He has had very little racing for a six-year-old and this will only be his seventh career outing.

He actually made his turf debut just a fortnight ago, winning a 1400 metres handicap at the course under Sunday’s jockey, Richard Mullen.

If staying the extra trip he has the potential to surprise though on official ratings has plenty to find to be competitive.

“We always wanted to run him on turf but could never find the right race,” said Mullen. “We knew the surface would suit him and he may have only won a neck last time but it was a pretty comfortable neck.
“He is worth a try over this longer trip and, hopefully, will stay and be competitive.”

Ten have been declared for the Purebred Arabian equivalent, the Group 1 Emirates Championship (2200m), including four trained at Al Asayl by Eric Lemartinel for HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Leading Jockey Tadhg O’Shea has elected to partner Abu Alabyad for the first time, on the horse’s tenth UAE outing.

The six-year-old has won twice locally, his highlight victory in last year’s HH The President’s Cup, over this same 2200 metres at Abu Dhabi.

“It seems amazing I have not ridden him in a race before,” said O’Shea. “These are his optimum conditions and he must have a massive chance on Sunday.”

Al Wathba trainer Nacer Samiri saddles three, headed by Sha’Red, owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the mount of Harry Bentley.

Djet Taouy, trained by Ibrahim Al Hadhrami will represent The Royal Cavalry of Oman.