Jasoos Bids For Place In UAE History

Selvaratnam`s Star Goes For Repeat President`s Cup

HH The President`s Cup for Thoroughbreds is the undoubted highlight at Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening and the Dhruba Selvaratnam-trained Jaasoos will bid to earn his permanent place in UAE racing history, seeking a repeat win in the 1400m Listed feature he won last year.

Not only has no horse won this race twice, but Jaasoos, owned by Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has already won two National Day Cups (1600m) as well as finishing runner-up in that race in each of the last two seasons.

“There is no doubt that he goes particularly well at Abu Dhabi,” said Selvaratnam. “He ran well enough on his comeback over 1000m at Jebel Ali and it was a good effort when second again in the National Day Cup last time. The winner of that, Derbaas, is a good horse trained by Ali Rashid Al Raihe and it is his filly, First City, I really fear most this time.” James Doyle takes the ride.

Royston Ffrench rides First City, a Group 2 winner at Meydan last season, for which she is penalised and he said: “She seems in good shape at home and the yard remain in good form. The trip will be as short as she wants and she has a penalty for her good win last season but she has a touch of class and we are hopeful.”

The Satish Seemar/Richard Mullen combination remain in great form and they rely on Escape Route runner-up in this race in each of the last two seasons , who also has a course and distance victory to his name and dead-heated over this trip at Jebel Ali on his penultimate start. Mullen said: “He has run well both times this season and we know the 1400m at Abu Dhabi really suits him. He deserves a change of luck in this race having been second the last two years and should go close.”

Stable companion Montmorency and Garbah, a stablemate of First City have to be considered as does Marching Time, trained by Doug Watson for HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum whose retained jockey Paul Hanagan takes the ride.

Watson said: “He goes well at Abu Dhabi and has a good draw this time as opposed to the National Day Cup when he was very wide. I am hopeful of a good run but it is a tough race.”

The Listed Abu Dhabi Championship is the best of the Purebred Arabian action which also includes the Abu Dhabi Fillies` Classic and the equivalent race for colts. All three are over 1600m and the maximum field of 14 have been declared for the Abu Dhabi Championship and included Alfirsaan. Trained by Champion Al Raihe, his debut victory at Sharjah was the 600th UAE success for his owner Sheikh Hamdan and now he is a non runner with Paul Hanagan now riding Alameer in his first start for trainer Musabah Al Muhairi.

The Ernst Oertel-trained Najm Alemarat could be the main danger in a race four of the runners are making their debuts.