Apprentice, Saeed Al Mazrooei Opens Account With Abu Dhabi Victory

Only in the starting line-up due to a non-runner, first reserve, El Wasmi made virtually all under apprentice Saeed Al Mazrooei to claim in victory the only Thoroughbred race at Abu Dhabi this evening (Sunday).

Out of any traffic problems in front, Al Mazrooei’s mount, which is trained by Ali Rashid Al Raihe, went clear about 300m out in the 1600m Handicap and was always holding off the late challenges of Entifaadha and Musaafer, both trained by Musabah Al Muhairi for HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Al Mazrooei, who won on the same horse over 1400m at Meydan last season, said: “I was told to try and make all and the plan has worked well. The boss has the horses in great form and it is nice to open my 2013 account.”

The opening race was a 1400m maiden restricted to those making their debut and very few were ever able to get involved. Turning for home, Royston Ffrench looked to have the race in safe keeping on the Ali Rashid Al Raihe-trained Udine Du Pouy but they could not withstand the late challenge of Silvestre De Sousa on Wald Johnny.

Trained by Ibrahim Al Hadhrami, the winner had been prominent until Ffrench’s mount quickened 400m out and De Sousa said: “He has needed that 1400m to really get going and the first two could be quite nice.”

Trainer and jockey completed a double when Gabas Noor, a 1400m handicap winner last week, coped with a drop to 1200m to lead nearly all the way in a 1200m handicap. Well drawn in four, De Sousa was keen to get his mount to the front and they held on grimly in the closing stages to withstand the challenge of Richleau.

De Sousa said: “We know he stays further so from the low draw we were keen to be positive and he showed plenty of dash before staying on well.”
Having won the opener, De Sousa almost completed a quick double in the following 1600m handicap on AF Kamaash but they had no answer to Daragh O’Donohoe on the Jaber Bittar-trained Talmoud. Never far off the pace, O’Donohoe’s mount quickened well 300m out and held on well.

The jockey said: “I probably hit the front sooner that I wanted but he was going well and I did not want to disappoint him. That is my first 2013 winner so it is nice to get back in the winner’s enclosure.”

The trainer later completed a double in the concluding 2200m conditions race, arguably the best of the Purebred Arabian action, with Kerkouan yet another winner on the card to make most with Adrie De Vries in the saddle on this occasion. The jockey said: “From a poor draw we did well to get across and he has enjoyed it out in front and responded gamely in the straight when the challengers appeared.”

Former Champion Jockey Wayne Smith was in the saddle on Magik Du Paon, trained on the track by Eric Lemartinel and who led close home to land a second 1200m handicap. Settled off the pace, he was produced to challenge in the final 100m and denied Zells Fred under apprentice Sam James.