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Abu Dhabi Championship Goes To Oman`s Champion

Maisoor unbeaten in six starts after winning Listed Abu Dhabi Championship

Oman based trainer Said Al Badi made his first foray to the UAE a winning one with the ultra impressive victory of Maisoor in the 1600m Listed Abu Dhabi Championship, the feature at Sunday’s meeting in the capital.

Unbeaten after five starts in Muscat, all on dirt, his jockey, Anas Al Siyabi probably never had a moment of worry with the pair, seemingly without effort, stalking the early pace before hitting the front on the home turn.

In a matter of strides they were clear to maintain that unbeaten record and, probably just as importantly, prove Maisoor’s effectiveness on turf.

“I would not say we were confident, but certainly hopeful,” said Al Badi. “You never know how good the races he has been winning are. But we think he is a really nice horse and we are absolutely delighted with that performance. It is also a good advert for the strength of racing in Oman!

“I am not sure where we will go next and we will have to digest this effort but we now have a lot options with an exciting horse.”

The meeting opened with the Abu Dhabi Fillies Classic and, although 16 went to post for the 1400m Prestige contest, in reality very few were actually involved.

As the race unfolded, Richard Mullen always looked pretty confident aboard AF Marrah, trained by Ernst Oertel for Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda, the filly’s owner and breeder.

Losing her maiden tag at the third attempt, it was clearly not a surprise to connections and Mullen said: “She ran very well the first time and we thought she would win on her second start but nothing went right that day.

“She has had a little break and Ernst and his team deserve a lot of credit as she has really bounced back here and, hopefully, she is a smart filly.”

As a breeder, Al Nabooda completed a quick double with the smooth success of the Musabbeh Al Mheiri-trained AF Monsef in the following Abu Dhabi Colts Classic, also a 1400m Prestige race.

However, having won on debut, for Al Nabooda, AF Monsef subsequently was purchased by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and was third on his first start for his new owner.

Things did not go smoothly on that occasion as winning jockey Dane O’Neill explained: “I rode him on his last start and the race just did not pan out for him, whereas today everything went smoothly.

“I was pretty confident throughout to be honest as I was always travelling well and knew I had plenty of horse under me.

“When I asked him he responded very well and we think he is a nice colt going forward.”

The only Thoroughbred race, a 2400m handicap went to Satish Seemar with Champion Jockey, Tadhg O’Shea registering a comfortable victory aboard Carbon Dating. A 2200m winner at Abu Dhabi on his seasonal return, four weeks ago, Carbon Dating was always going nicely under O’Shea who sent him to challenge leaving the home turn.

They soon hit the front and never looked likely to be caught. “Full credit to Satish and his team” said O’Shea. “This horse really seems to have turned a corner and now just relaxes in his races which makes my job so much easier.

“He really loves the turf track here at Abu Dhabi and hopefully is a horse for the big Abu Dhabi Championship at the end of the season. We would like to think he is a Meydan Carnival horse in the interim.”

The only Purebred Arabian handicap on the card was over 1400m and won by Tha’er, ridden by Sam Hitchcott for owner and trainer, Saeed Hadher Al Mazrouei.

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan has a formidable team of Purebred Arabians and his colours were carried to victory in the finale, a 1600m maiden, by the Ahmed Al Mehairbi-trained Majdd and delivered to lead in the final strides by Pat Dobbs, a late replacement for Harry Bentley.