Bentley powers horse to hat trick of victories in the Capital

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Bentley powers horse to hat trick of victories in the Capital

Al Ketbi, who had four runners in the 16-horse field, saw mare Shayel Aldhabi, ridden by Patrick Dobbs, finish third.

By James Jose (senior Reporter)

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Published: Mon 16 Feb 2015, 5:05 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 8:34 PM

Harry Bentley powers Thakif (left) to victory at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Sunday night. — KT photo by Nezar Balout

Harry Bentley powers Thakif (left) to victory at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Sunday night. — KT photo by Nezar Balout

Abu Dhabi: Harry Bentley and Thakif, trained by Majed Al Jahouri, completed a hat trick of victories in the Capital by winning the prestigious His Highness The President Cup at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Sunday night.

The 2200 metres Group 1 race, the feature event of the six-race card and carrying a total prize purse of Dh 3 million, was a dramatic one before Thakif won by a short head over the Salem Al Ketbi trained Abu Alabyad, ridden by Adrie De Vries, winner of the trial two weeks ago.

Al Ketbi, who had four runners in the 16-horse field, saw mare Shayel Aldhabi, ridden by Patrick Dobbs, finish third.

Bentley and Thakif had won here in November and December last year.

Thakif’s stablemate Areem, who was restless at the starting gate, was quick and raced into the lead. Areem, reunited with Ahmed Ajtebi, was in the lead with 600 metres to go with mare Nymphea Du Paon, trained by Al Ketbi and ridden by Shane Karlsson, in second.

But wih 450 metres left to run, Thakif, who beat Areem in the National Day Cup on his most recent outing in December, closed in and took the lead. Abu Alabyad made a dash for it at the end but Thakif held on. Areem finished sixth.

“At the moment, he’s the best horse we have in training. He was running this distance for the first time and he impressed us with this effort tonight. He has won all three races this season and will now go straight to the Kahayla Classic,” trainer Majed Al Jahouri said.

“To be honest, a season or two seasons ago, there was no chance he would stay this trip because he was very keen. He seems to have grown up since last year. We went on an honest gallop and he kind of settled in very well. Two seasons ago, he won a Group 3 over 5 furlongs. Amazing how versatile he is,” said Bentley. The His Highness The President Cup for Thoroughbreds run over 1400 metres, was won by Ali Rashid Al Raihe trained Ertijaal, with Royston Ffrench on the mount. Ertijaal won by a nose over Johann Strauss, trained by Mike de Kock, ridden by Patrick Dobbs.

Mike de Kock’s Disa Leader, with James Doyle on the mount, was third.

The Wathba Stud Farm Cup (Private Owners Only) was a thrilling affair with the lead changing hands over the course of the 1400 metres before Gerald Avranche steered Ain Jaloot to a hat-trick in Abu Dhabi.

Ain Jaloot, saddled by Eric Lemartinel, with Avranche, had previously won here in December 2014 and earlier this month.

Kanjani, trained by Helal Al Alawi and ridden by George Buckell, had set the pace early on before TM AC-DC, saddled by Omar Daraj Mohammed with Shane Karlsson on the mount, took the lead. But with 300 metres to go to the finish, Ain Jaloot made a late charge to win the contest. Kanjani finished 13th.

The Emirates Fillies Classic, over 1600 metres, was won by the Mohd Ahmed Al Yousef-trained Huyam, ridden by George Buckell, who notched a first winner in Abu Dhabi.

MH Kanz, ridden by Xavier Ziani and trained by Elise Jeanne, was third, followed by AZ Shamah, trained by Ahmed Al Mehairbi and ridden by Harry Bentley.

Earlier, Al Ketbi had a winner and a third place in the first race of the evening. RB Smokin Rich, with Shane Karlsson on the mount, won the Al Samha Handicap, run over 1600 metres for Purebred Arabians. It was Karlsson’s first win in Abu Dhabi.

Sharaf Al Reef, trained by Dr.Jaber Bittar and ridden by Richard Mullen, was second. Al Ketbi’s Sheikh Down, with Tadhg O’Shea on the mount, finished third.

The final race of the night, the Habshan Handicap was won by Salem Al Ketbi’s RB Torch, ridden by Tadhg O’Shea.

james@khaleejtimes.com


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