Oisin Murphy Scores in Abu Dhabi National Day Cup Prep for Selvaratnam

Photo: Erika Rasmussen (

Master of War Will Improve for Run, Says Trainer

Britain`s Champion Apprentice, Oisin Murphy wasted no time in doubling his UAE win tally on Sunday with a National Day Cup Prep victory at Abu Dhabi.

He had been in the winner`s circle at Jebel Ali on Friday and followed up with success aboard Master of War in Abu Dhabi`s 1600m highlight.

Held up in rear of the main group, Murphy’s mount made smooth progress 400m out, as the runners turned for home, but took a long while to ground down Naawaar, winner of last season’s National Day and HH The President’s Cup at Abu Dhabi.

“We have to be delighted with that,” said Selvaratnam. “We really thought he would need that run so it is a great result and it was a very good ride from Oisin.

“We will obviously have to look at the National Day Cup and hopefully he will be a Dubai World Cup Carnival horse next year, especially on the turf.”

Local apprentice Saeed Al Mazrouei produced a very polished display aboard Shateh to win the Purebred Arabian equivalent, also over 1600m.

Having only his second start in the UAE, Shateh and his young jockey were well away and always at the head of affairs, the pair kicking clear 400m out as the field turned towards the judge.

That proved to be the decisive moment and they always looked likely to hold the late challenge of Marzooq. Both are trained by Majed Al Jahouri for Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Al Jahouri said: “We had an amazing season last time and things have started well this time. Saeed gave the winner a great ride and both horses are nice new recruits from France having just their second starts locally.”

The meeting opened with a 1600m maiden, won in style by Haanoof, ridden by Pat Dobbs for trainer, Yousef Al Bloushi and, like Shateh, owned by Sheikh Mansour.

Never far off the pace, Dobbs eased his mount to the front as the runners turned for home, soon putting daylight between themselves and 15 toiling rivals. It was a first winner of the season for the trainer.

Dobbs said: “This was a massive drop in class for the filly and she has won very nicely. I was always very confident and hopefully she can build on this win.”

Having enjoyed a pleasing first campaign with a licence last season when saddling eight winners, trainer Helal Al Alawi is already on four this time around after his AL Shahab turned a 1400m maiden into a procession under Champion Jockey, Tadhg O’Shea.

“He ran very well on his only previous start,” said O’Shea. “This looked a very winnable opportunity as it did not appear a strong contest and he has won that in style."

“He should progress.”

Having saddled his first winner last Sunday at Abu Dhabi, fledgling trainer, Saeed Hadher Al Mazrouei doubled his tally with Girl Powerr, the ultra game winner of a 1600m handicap under Royston Ffrench.

Well away, Ffrench tried to make all but the pair were headed 300m out by Hab Nessnas.

However, Girl Powerr was nothing if not determined and put her head back in front close home.

“She was very game,” said Ffrench. “She is a very versatile mare who ran well over 1000m last week but stays this 1600m well.”

One year and one day since her only previous UAE winner, trainer Elise Jeanne doubled her local tally with MH Kanz, winner of a 1400m fillies’ maiden under Jose Santiago.

It was a winning debut for Jeanne’s charge who looked beaten when headed by Huyam, the only runner with previous experience, about 200m out but fought back gallantly to land the spoils.

Jeanne said: “I am obviously very pleased. That was a brave effort.”