AL ASAYL / News & Events

Al Dahma wins Shadwell stakes

Published: July 19, 2009 London: UAE champion Fryvolous was cruelly denied victory in Sunday's Group 1 Shadwell Dubai International Stakes as mighty Qatari mare Al Dahma benefitted from a level-headed ride by David Bouland to land the prestigious contest on the final day of the Dubai Summer Festival at Newbury racecourse.
The Dubai Kahayla Classic winner was twice asked to switch course by her rider Darragh O'Donohoe in the final furlong before she was thrust mercilessly between No Risk Al Maury, looking for a history third consecutive win in the race, and the fast finishing French raider Al Fatih. A neck and neck separated the first four horses home in what must surely be one of the finest Purebred Arabian races run in a long, long time. It was being billed as a mighty battle with the three top performing Arabian racehorses in the world lining up and the equine superstars did not disappoint. Fryvolous was the unluckiest of the three while No Risk Al Maury, the 2007 and 2008 winner, ran his heart out as good fortune smiled on the phenomenal mare Al Dahma, a winner of over 10 Group 1 races in her career. Rod Simpson, who trains Fryvolous in Lambourn, remarked: "But it was disappointing that the sun did not come out to give my horse a better chance. "The truth of the matter is the ground was soft and not to his advantage. When horses come to Britain from the Middle East this sort of soft ground is always going to pose problems. "But all credit to the winner, she's a super horse." Simpson said he felt that Fryvolous' best was yet to come and that he would run in the Group 1 race on Arc day in France, this October." Earlier, Dariya, who notched up four wins in 2007 including the Group 1 Coupe De France at Chantilly but did not race in 2008, was an impressive winner of the Al Hai Group Zabeel International Stakes (Group 1) over 1,200 metres. Trained by Robert Litt, and ridden with supreme confidence by Phillipe Sogorb who, chose to bide his time at the back of the 11-runner field, Dariya was delivered at the two-furlong marker and he stretched out to win handsomely. Swedish-bred Al Raai, a winner in Norway and Denmark, took second place while recent Kempton scorer Al Harith finished third. The Emirates NBD Hatta International Stakes, the second of three Group 1 races on the Newbury card, produced a scintillating three-horse finish with Saudi Arabian-owned Quesche Du Paon landing the spoils under French jockey Gerald Arranche. Trained by Jean-Francois Bernard for Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al Saud, Quesche Du Paon has notched three Group 1 races in France including the Qatar French Arabian Breeders Cup I 2008 where she beat 2008 Zabeel winner Qualino. Inaugural UAE champion jockey Dennis Batteate rolled back the years to win the opening race, the Emirates Airline Premier Handicap Stakes, with Balladore, who he also trains at his yard in Newmarket. Batteate, a former Californian, was crowned champion jockey in the UAE in 1992. Yesterday's victory was his first in 12 years as a jockey. "Although I'm essentially focused on training Arabians it's always nice to ride in races, although I don't always get the chance," the trainer-jockey said. "Today was one of those rare opportunities and I had a really nice horse under me. She's very genuine and awfully well bred, she's by Dormane. So I kinda fancied her chances. I wasn't surprised at all that she won." Results 1. The Emirates Airline Premier Handicap Stakes (Purebred Arabians 4yo+ rated 0-75) Distance: 1,400m: 1. Balladore (trained by D.M. Batteate) ridden by D.M. Batteate; 2. Mr Ben (B. Paterson) D. O'Donohoe; 3. Miswadah (B. Paterson) S. Hitchcott. 2. The Al Hai Group Zaabeel International Stakes (Group 1) (Purebred Arabians 4yo+) Distance: 1,200m: 1. Dariya (R. Litt) P. Sogorb; 2. Al Raai (B. Blomqvist) C. Lopez; 3 Al Haith (A.S. Newey) S. Drowne. 3. The Emirates NBD Hatta International Stakes (Group 1 PA) (Purebred Arabians, Mare & Fillies only 4yo+) Distance: 2,000 metres: 1. Quesche Du Paon (J.F. Bernard) G Avranche; 2. Nokomis (W.M. Smith) S.A. Walker 3. Tameemah (A. de Mieulle) D. Bouland. 4. The Shadwell Dubai International Stakes (Group 1 PA) (Purebred Arabians 4yo+) Distance: 2,000m: 1. Al Dahma (A. de Mieulle) D. Bouland; 2. No Risk Al Maury (G. Duffield) R. Hills; 3. Fryvolous (R. Simpson) D. O'Donohoe and Al Fatih (Mdme eds correct, short for Madame, S.V. Tasrrou) T Jarnet.