Fifteen Purebred Arabians Open Richest Day of Racing

Al Mamun Monlau Bids to Repeat 2013 Kahayla Classic Victory

Al Mamun Monlau (FR), one of five 2013 Dubai World Cup night winners back in action this year, faces 15 rivals as he bids to become the third horse to win the meeting’s official curtain raiser, the Dubai Kahayla Classic, sponsored by EMAAR, more than once.

Trained in France by Jean Francois-Bernard, he prevailed in the dying strides to supply his owner, Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, with a second consecutive win in the Purebred Arabian equivalent of the Dubai World Cup.

Both races are over 2000m on the all-weather and, ridden last year by Christophe Soumillon, Al Mamun Monlau led close home with the 2012 winner, the same owner’s TM Fred Texas, third.

Retained by Sheikh Joaan and his Al Shaqab Racing organisation, Frankie Dettori, having his first mount in this $250,000 contest, rides him this year.

Elisabeth Garel, the trainer’s wife and assistant said: “We are pleased with the horse – we have tried to vary his work this week to keep him interested and it seems to be working.”

The Erwan Charpy-trained Versac PY (FR) was the runner caught on the line 12 months ago and connections of the HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s runner suffered similar heartbreak on Super Saturday this year when passed on the line in the third and final round of the Al Maktoum Challenge.

He was second in the same race in 2012 and surely deserves a change of luck.

Charpy said: “Hopefully it is his turn to win one of these big races. We are trying different headgear and have been training him slightly differently.
“He should run well as always but Mushrae looks the one to beat.”

On that occasion, Charpy’s charge was caught by Rabbah De Carrere (FR), one of four in this year’s field trained by Majed Al Jahouri for HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Remarkably, owner and trainer have combined to win all seven Purebred Arabian Group One races contested so far this season in the UAE.

They seek a unique clean sweep and are also represented by Raaziq (Fr), Musharab (FR) and Naseem (FR) but Rabbah De Carrere looks their best hope, despite a poor draw in 15.

Rabbah De Carrere’s dam, Mizzna, won this race in 2008, while Mizzna’s own dam, Alanudd, won the race three times (1997, 1998 and 1999).
Al Jahouri said: “It has been a great season but this is the toughest race to date. It would be great if Rabbah De Carrere could uphold family tradition but it will not be easy.

“At least we have four decent chances.”

Sheikh Mansour also has Mushrae (FR) among the 16 runners. Trained in France by Jean-Pierre Totain, he won last year’s Qatar Arabian World Cup at Longchamp’s Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe meeting.

He has also won his sole start this season, over 1950m on an all-weather surface, so Saturday’s conditions should not be an issue and Totain won the race in 2001 with Magic De Piboul.

Al Jahouri added: “If one of my quartet cannot win I will be rooting for Sheikh Mansour and Mushrae.”

The Abu Dhabi-based trainers are well represented with Al Jahouri’s quartet joined by three for Ernst Oertel and two for Eric Lemartinel. Of the Oertel trio, Tadhg O’Shea partners Shayel Aldhabi (AE) with Nieshan (FR) looking Lemartinel’s main hope.

Englishman Julian Smart won this prize for Qatar in 2010 with Jaafer and also saddled Nez D’Or to victory in 2002 when he bas based in Abu Dhabi. He saddles Djainka Des Forges (Fr) but she has to overcome the widest draw in 16.

Fellow Qatari raider, the Jassim Al Ghazali-trained Vetlana De Faust (Fr), only has a maiden win to her name and looks to face a stiff task.