Meydan glory for Campeao

The first ever race at Meydan, the Group 1 Maktoum Challenge for Purebred Arabians was won in great style by No Risk Al Maury, owned by Shaikh Hamdan.

By Hisham Al Gizouli

Published: Fri 29 Jan 2010, 10:17 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:22 AM

No Risk Al Maury, owned by Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance was trained by Gill Duffield, while the same owner was also responsible for the runner-up Santhal, as well as the fourth Kandar Du Falgas.

The owner’s retained jockey, Richard Hills, was aboard the winner and, coincidentally, partnering his 450th UAE winner in the process, a press release said.

He was delighted: “Of course it is great to ride the first winner here and extra special now you have told me it was my 450th. This is a nice horse though and one we thought would love this new track.”

The Thoroughbred equivalent was won by Dubai International Racing Carnival regular Gloria De Campeao who battled bravely to land the spoils in the 1600m feature. Never far off the pace, he had to fight off several challenges, and was actually headed turning for home, but fought back to regain the advantage inside the final 100m.

“This horse loves Dubai and never runs a bad race. We will be aiming him for the World Cup in which he was an excellent second last year,”said his trainer Pascal Bary

The first two Thoroughbred races went the way of the Mike De Kock/Christophe Soumillon/Shaikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum combination with Raihana winning the 1400m UAE 1000 Guineas Trial, before Lizard’s Desire landed the 1950m handicap, from stable companion King of Rome.

“We thought they would all run well and it is obviously a great start to the Carnival. Raihana will go for the Guineas and we will decide what to do with Lizard’s Desire after the handicapper has had a look,” said De Kock.

Luca Cumani and Kieren Fallon then combined with Drunken Sailor who won the 2200m handicap in good style to the delight of the trainer who said: “We were hopeful but nothing more. That is his first start for us.”

Another UK winner followed with Ted Durcan in the saddle on Sir Gerry, trained by John Best. Last turning for home, Durcan’s mount ran on strongly to lead close home and the jockey said: “He has done that nicely and clearly loves the surface.”

A third for the UK was registered in the last, a 1400m handicap, by Ryan Moore on the Jeremy Noseda-trained Leahurst.

Godolphin joined in the party in the 2000m handicap in which Frankie Dettori made all on Whispering Gallery to score a comprehensive success. A delighted jockey said: “This place is fantastic and going to be awesome. It is a big relief to get that first winner on the board.”

The Tapeta track was generally well received and winners on the night came from both high and low draws from off the pace and from those who raced prominently suggesting a fair chance for all.

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