Eleven Face Starter for Middle Round of Arabian Triple Crown at Abu Dhabi

Nymphea Du Paon Seeks Return to Winner`s Enclosure

The middle round of the Arabian Triple Crown is the highlight of Abu Dhabi’s Sunday card and 11 have been declared for the 2200m Group 3 contest with the weights headed by Nymphea Du Paon.

A Group 2 winner in her native France, before joining UAE Champion Trainer Ernst Oertel, Nymphea Du Paon won the Listed Abu Dhabi Championship on her local debut and was first past the post in the first round of the Arabian Triple Crown – only to be subsequently disqualified.

That was over 1600m but her big win in France was at 2000m so the 2200m hopefully should not be a problem. Champion Jockey, Tadhg O’Shea, takes the ride and said: “She is certainly a smart filly and has done nothing but please us since she arrived. We hope she will stay 2200m and she has a touch of class which will stand her in good stead.

“She does have to give weight to some useful, rivals, including colts, which is never ideal but hopefully her undoubted class will be key.”
She certainly looks the most likely winner having already beaten several of her 10 opponents this season. They include Swwing, second to Oertel’s filly in the Abu Dhabi Championship and subsequently third in the opening round of the Arabian Triple Crown.

Trained by Eric Lemartinel, he is the mount of Ted Durcan with stable jockey, Gerald Avranche, seemingly preferring to ride stable companion Major, behind Durcan’s mount on both his local starts but likely to relish this stamina test.

With the Majed Al Jahouri string flying, local debutant Mubasher has to be considered under Harry Bentley. Winner once from three starts in France, he is owned by HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as are Haajeb and Haanoof.

The latter pair are both trained by rookie handler Yousif Al Bloushi and Haanoof, a filly, could prove best of the pair.

The 1600m Emirates Colts’ Classic has attracted seven declarations, headed by AF Al Hazer, awarded the opening round of the Arabian Triple Crown when Nymphea Du Paon was disqualified.

Trained by Ibrahim Al Hadhrami, he was subsequently well beaten in the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club Gold Cup, but, even under a penalty, he will be hard to beat under Royston Ffrench.

Again Oertel and O’Shea supply a live danger, in this case Molahen Alham, twice second to Ffrench’s mount already.

The only Thoroughbred race is the concluding one, the 2200m Abu Dhabi Championship Prep and 13 are set to face the starter.

Satish Seemar is particularly well represented, with five runners and stable jockey, Richard Mullen elects to ride Inthar, already a course winner twice this season.

When winning here over 2400m, on his penultimate start, Mullen’s mount was chased home by the Erwan Charpy-trained Amaan, subsequently a winner over Sunday’s course and distance.

Both have been beaten at Meydan since but should appreciate this return to the capital, while Charpy also saddles Sefri, lke Amaan owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, as is the Ali Rashid Al Raihe-trained Mutayaser.

The owner’s retained jockey, Paul Hanagan, has chosen Amaan, with second jockey, Dane O’Neill aboard Sefri.