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Naseem takes first jewel in Triple Crown for Al Jahouri

Naseem, having his first start locally for trainer Majed Al Jahouri, was the impressive winner of the featured Listed Arabian Triple Crown Round 1, over 1600m, at Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening.

Owned by His Excellency Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Naseem had won a Listed race in France on his penultimate start and led home a 1-2-3 for trainer and jockey who were also responsible for the runner-up Rakha and third Thakif.

Champion Jockey Wayne Smith was in the saddle on the winner and he was clearly impressed: "He is a really nice horse and that was impressive as there were some decent horses in behind and he has beaten them easily. It was the first time I had sat on him and he definitely felt like a quality performer from the moment I climbed aboard. I would say he is the best I have sat on for a long time. Hopefully he can go on from this and that is a great result for all around for owner and trainer."

Smith completed a double when winning the final race, the only Thoroughbred contest, a 1300m handicap on the nine-year-old Celtic King, having his 35th career start but first on turf!

Trained by Musabah Al Muhairi, he was completing a double for jockey Wayne Smith who said: "He has done virtually all his racing on dirt, winning at Nad Al Sheba, Sharjah and Jebel Ali and has been a great servant over the years. He ran ok the once we tried him on the Meydan [all-weather] but prefers the dirt and now we know he acts on turf. There have not been many chance to try him on it and it is great he has put his head back in front."

The main support race was the 2200m prep for HH The President`s Cup and it was Seraphin Du Paon, winner of both the 2011 HH The President`s Cup and Dubai Kahayla Classic on Dubai World Cup night, who landed the spoils under Dubai World Cup winning jockey Mirco Demuro.

Now trained by Ernst Oertel, Seraphin Du Paon was having his first start since that Dubai Kahayla Classic victory and Demuro was impressed.
He said: "He is obviously a very nice horse and his form was there for all to see. He quickened well when I asked him and did it very nicely. I have enjoyed a lot of luck in the UAE and hopefully it will continue."

Oertel was completing a double and Demuro`s brother, Cristian, was aboard Seef who made an impressive winning debut in a 1600m maiden.

Trainer Eric Lemartinel was also in double form, combining with French compatriot Gerald Avranche to win the opening 1600m maiden with AF Sanadek before Group One winner Nieshan capitalised on an easy opportunity in a 2200m conditions race.

The winner of last year`s Purebred Arabian Al Maktoum Challenge III before finishing second to Seraphin Du Paon in the Dubai Kahayla Classic on Dubai World Cup night, Nieshan looked a class apart from his 14 rivals and so it proved.

Avranche said: "We knew he was the one the others had to beat and luckily he has delivered the prize. He has not been at his absolute best so far this season and hopefully that will have done his confidence good and put him spot on for some of the upcoming big races."

The 1400m maiden was won by Million for trainer Jaber Bittar with Carlos Sandoval in the saddle.