Ali Rashid Al Raihe Claims HH The President`s Cup

UAE Champion Trainer Adds Abu Dhabi Highlight To National Day Cup Win

Champion Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe has, as always, made a flying start to the season, and he saddled Alazeyab to win the Listed 1400m HH The President`s Cup, the only Thoroughbred race at Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening.

Only a fortnight ago, the same connections combined to win the National Day Cup with Derbaas and O`Neill, the second retained jockey to HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said: “This horse is so versatile and has won on turf, dirt and all-weather and over various trips. I was always going well this evening but needed a gap as we turned for home. Luckily one appeared and we were able to take it. Once we hit the front I was always hopeful we would hold on as he stays further.

”It would be nice to think he can go to the Dubai World Cup Carnival and be competitive and perhaps the Jebel Ali Mile could be an option.”

Remarkably, for a third consecutive year Escape Route, ridden by Richard Mullen, was second.

Mullen said: “He never runs a bad race here but always seems to find one too good.”

The best of the Purebred Arabian action was the Listed Abu Dhabi Championship, a 1600m contest restricted to the three-year-old generation. It was won by Magik Du Paon, with Wayne Smith in the saddle for trainer Eric Lemartinel. Smith said: “These are the spare rides we like. That was a nice effort in a decent race. I was always going well and was pretty confident from a fair way out. I reckon the first three home will turn out to be nice horses.”

Racing opened with the Abu Dhabi Fillies’ Classic over 1600m and was won impressively by Shayel Aldhabi, ridden by Tadhg O`Shea for trainer Ernst Oertel. O`Shea said: “She is a nice filly and you would hope will improve again from this. Ernst has his horses in great shape and it has been a great start to the season for us all. ”

The colts` equivalent was then won by Monawer, ridden by Pat Cograve for trainer Jaber Bittar and like Shayel Aldhabi winning for a second time this season. Cosgrave said: “I did not ride him the last time but he won well enough and I was hopeful coming into the race and he certainly has not let me down although we did miss the break which was a bit of a concern.

“Then he carried me nicely into the race and quickened well when I asked him.”

Victor Adam opened his account in a 1200m handicap with jockey Saber Trabelsi riding his first winner locally. It was a second winner for trainer Ibrahim Al Hadhrami. A seven-year-old, Victor Adam is out of the legendary Kahayla one of the best Purebred Arabian racehorses ever and after whom the opening race on Dubai World Cup night is named.

The concluding 2200m maiden went to Maharani, ridden by Royston Ffrench for trainer Ernst Oertel and owner HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.