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Thakif Denies Areem in Purebred Arabian Abu Dhabi National Day Cup for Al Jahouri

Phot: Erika Rasmussen (www.erikarphotography.com)

It was Abu Dhabi’s National Day Cup meeting on Sunday evening with both Areem, seeking a third consecutive victory in the Purebred Arabian version and Nawwar, in the Thoroughbred equivalent, attempting to defend their crown.

However, new names were to be engraved on each trophy; Areem was not able to make it three consecutive victories in the Group One Purebred Arabian version but was only denied by stable companion, Thakif.

As always Areem set out to make all, this year under Silvestre De Sousa, having been ridden to victory in each of the last two years by Ahmed Ajtebi.

They appeared well in control turning for home only for Thakif and Bentley to loom large as a serious threat and deny a repeat victory.

“Thakif had the benefit of a run under his belt this season,” said the winning trainer, Majed Al Jahouri. “Perhaps that has made the difference, I am not really sure.

"These are two nice horses among plenty I am lucky enough to train for Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.”

The Thoroughbred equivalent was won by Nine Realms, having only his third start locally and first UAE outing on turf. He is now trained by Satish Seemar.

Settled in midfield by jockey Richard Mullen, Nine Realms was always going strongly and was in the right place at the right time.

“I have not had an awful lot to do with this horse at home, said Mullen. “Today he has done everything I could have asked from him.

“That was a really good effort in what was a tough race,

“It would be nice to think he is a Dubai World Cup Carnival horse.”

The meeting opened with a 1600m condition race, won by Sataar Al Reef, produced to lead close by Mullen, initiating a double for the jockey and saddled by Jaber Bittar.

Trainer and jockey soon followed up with the success of Sharaf Al Reef in the 1600m handicap, the second race on the card.

The other races both went the way of Jockey Silvestre De Sousa – firstly via the Saifaldin Deeb –trained Boss Des Vialettes in a 1400m maiden and followed up by the same trainer’s Najeem S’Heel in a 100m handicap.