Dubai: Some of the fastest Purebred Arabian spinters in the UAE will be seen in action in Sunday’s Group 3 Al Ruwais, the feature race of the evening.
Trainer Majed Al Jahouri is bidding to win the 1000m contest for a third consecutive year with Thakif, a feat that was last achieved by the legendary Big Easy in 2005.
Harry Bentley resumes his association with Thakif and is also looking forward to competing the hat-trick: “He has a lot of natural speed and clearly relishes the Abu Dhabi 1000m. We have a better draw than last year and you have to be hopeful that he can make it three years in a row.”
His main rivals appears to be stable companion Rakha, who finished runner-up twelve months ago.
Godolphin’s Silvestre De Sousa, who takes the ride said: “The horse has good form. His was a good run in this last year and he then beat Thakif over 1400m. We should not be far away and have a nice draw but it is Rakha’s first run of the season and he has tended to need an outing in the past to put him spot on.”
The card also features the 1600m Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club Gold Cup, a race won last year by AF Sanadek for trainer Eric Lemartinel.
AF Al Hazer trained by Ibrahim Al Hadhrami looks to have strong claims as well and will be the mount of Royston Ffrench who rode three winners at Al Ain’s inaugural meeting on Friday.
The only Thoroughbred race on the card is the concluding 2200m contest for which ten have been declared.
The weights are headed by 2011 Jebel Ali Stakes winner Emmrooz who is having only his second turf outing.
Satish Seemar saddles Mawhub who makes his first turf outing in the UAE.
Former UAE champion trainer Erwan Charpy is represented by Amaan the choice of Paul Hanagan.