News

Rochdale claims third consecutive win of the season

Rochdale, trained by Champion Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe and ridden by Royston Ffrench, won the featured 2000m conditions race at Meydan`s second meeting of the new season, just as he had done in 2010.

He was always travelling well under Ffrench and, turning for home, he only had stable companion Ahlaain to beat with the rest in trouble.

The jockey drove his mount to the front about 100m out to record their seventh UAE victory together and the jockey said: "Obviously Rochdale is a real favourite with everybody in the yard and he does seem to thrive early in the season. He won this last year having won at the opening meeting and has done so again.

"He never really runs a bad race and has also won twice at Jebel Ali for us. He will be nine in January but is a grand horse and hopefully he can win again."

The whole card was generously sponsored by Al Basti Equiworld so the victory of the Doug Watson-trained Myownway in the 1400m maiden was particularly well received as the four-year-old carries the colours of the sponsor, Malih Al Basti.

Always prominent under Tadhg O`Shea, he was passed by Ali Rashid Al Raihe`s Garbah early in the straight but fought back bravely to regain the lead close home.

O`Shea said: "He has threatened to win a race in the past but is certainly a bit of a character. The other horse going past him and getting a lead has helped as it gave us something to chase."

The jockey was completing a double having won the only Purebred Arabian race, a 1400m handicap, on Najem Al Khalij for trainer Jaber Bittar.

The other half of the card belonged to His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, his trainer Dhruba Selvaratnam and jockey James Doyle who combined for a memorable treble. Considering they only had a runner in four races, it was a great night for the team with Mortbet leading the way in the 1200m handicap.

Virtually last as the runners swept for home, he weaved between rivals under an inspired Doyle to lead close home. They then won both the concluding 1600m handicaps with Canwinn in the penultimate race before UAE debutant Doon Kalal completed the treble in the final race.

Doyle said: "We were hoping for some good runs as the horses had been working well and came here in good shape. Mortbet had been showing a lot of speed at home so I was not worried about reverting to sprinting and he really picked up well when I asked him.

"Canwinn really impressed me and has a great, battling attitude. I rode his last piece of work and liked him so I was quite confident coming into the race. Doon Kalal stays further but is a very lightly-raced newcomer to the UAE. Hopefully there is more to come for him and that has been a great evening.

"I am really enjoying this chance in the UAE and hopefully my riding and career will benefit from the experience so I have to thank Sheikh Ahmed and Dhruba for the chance."