Supple rides to glory

Top Irish jockey Willie Supple partnered AF Amthaal to victory in the 1400m Emirates Wolgan Valley Purebred Arabians Handicap opening event on the six-race-card curtain raiser of the 2010-11

By Hisham Al Gizouli

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Published: Fri 12 Nov 2010, 10:13 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:21 AM

Top Irish jockey Willie Supple partnered AF Amthaal to victory in the 1400m Emirates Wolgan Valley Purebred Arabians Handicap opening event on the six-race-card curtain raiser of the 2010-11 racing season at the A/W track of the Meydan Racecourse here on Thursday night.

Trained in Abu Dhabi by Bakhit Al Ketbi, the seven-year-old son of Akbar raced against the fences before working his way through in the concluding stages and held on courageously to win from fast-finishing Rafed under William Buick. The mount of Wayne Smith AF Qa’ed was close third and behind them came Sama Bu Dhabi, ridden by lady jockey Salma Al Taleei.

Contrary to early expectations, the Winter Challenge kicked off with a low-profile Purebred Arabians contest, a move that was highly appreciated by local breeders and trainers.

“It’s a strong push for the Purebred Arabian races in the UAE. I think it’s a step in the right direction and we are expecting more support from Meydan,” said Abu Dhabi-based trainer Bakhit Al Ketbi.

A great ride by Richard Mullen brought debutant Saudi Summer home in great style ahead of the Brazilian raider Energia Central under the strong drive of Bruno Reis.

Well-bred Southern Hemisphere Fahim colt Energia Central was reluctant to load up but the stalls handlers won the battle and at last he was in. Raced in the distinguished blue colours and yellow strip of the 2010 Dubai World Cup winner Glorea De Campeao, the three-year-old colt was perfectly poised in the centre of the track with the leading group. But the Southern hemisphere UAE debutant faced some traffic jam in the final furlong which could have cost him the race as Saudi Summer prevailed by just a head.

The 1400m Skywards-sponsored Maiden contest for three year olds only attracted a maximum field of 14 runners going to post including six unraced colts and geldings.

Top weight Always Emirates made all the running to complete a double for owner Shaikh Mansour bin Mohammed Al Maktoum in the 1400m Arabian Adventures Thoroughbreds third race on the card. The leading owner has earlier in the evening won the Maiden race with Saudi Summer.

Trained by Musabah Al Muhairi at the Oasis-1 Stables in Dubai and ridden by Wayne Smith, the seven-year-old veteran son of Danzig battled it out to the wire to win from the mount of the Italian apprentice Antioco Murgia, Dahes. Public favourite For Once did nothing to make his presence felt and finished a disappointing fifth.

hisham@khaleejtimes.com



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