UAE Derby-Bound Asmar Breaks Maiden With US$250,000 Al Bastakiya Win

Asmar (IRE)
Photo: Erika Rasmussen (

Fawzi Nass Charge is Six-Length Winner of Three-year-Old Race Under Richard Hughes

The UAE Derby on Dubai World Cup day beckons for Asmar after his smooth victory in the Listed Al Bastakiya, the 1900m all-weather middle leg of the UAE Triple Crown.

Trained by Bahraini, Fawzi Nass and having only his fourth career start he was losing his maiden tag in the process under an excellent ride from dual UK Champion Jockey Richard Hughes.

For the first time in his fledgling career, Asmar broke out of the starting gates on terms with the field and Hughes was happy to settle him in midfield before. About 1400m out the jockey decided the early pace, set by Chord Chart, was not quick enough, and steered his mount to the front.

With about 700m to go, those chasing him were in trouble and Hughes sent his mount clear with fully 500m to go.

That proved decisive and the pair were never going to be caught, running out comfortable six-length winners from Emirates Flyer who ran on to take second with Najm Suhail, becoming another that stayed on far too late.

Nass, who owns and trains the winner, said: “That was a great performance but we knew he would relish this trip and it is a great effort to win a race like this with a maiden.

“We discussed the race in depth with Richard and the plan was to sit close to the pace and see how the race was panning out. If there was no speed we were happy to go on as the one thing we knew this horse would do was stay.

“It was a great ride and a wonderful result for a small yard. We will be back for the UAE Derby in three weeks but, obviously, that will be a stronger race.”