Simbar Du Loup dazzles in Wathba Stud Farm Cup
Abu Dhabi - Simbar Du Loup, ridden by apprentice jockey Noel Garbutt sprinted to a three lengths and a half victory in the 2200 Purebred Arabian Wathba Stud Farom Cup For Private Owners Only Handicap, the fifth race on the card at Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening, February 23.
The six-year-old son of Akbar was always going well and kicked away from the field as the pack hit the home straight to storm home unchallenged to the delight of trainer Eric Lemartinel and the horse connections.
Elesewhere, champion Trainer Ernst Oertel appears to have no intention of relinquishing his crown after enjoying a big race double His yard also provided a double for UAE champion jockey, Tadhg O'Shea who was aboard Oertel'a runners for both the big occasions.
Pride of place went to the filly Nymphea Du Paon, impressive winner of the Group 3 Arabian Triple Crown Round 2, the evening’s 2200m feature. Never far off the pace, she was committed for home by O’Shea 500m out and the pair were never likely to be caught.
Oertel said: “She is a lovely filly and all being well will go for Round 3. We have enjoyed a good season so far and have been lucky so far this evening. Hopefully we can continue in good form for the remainder of the season.”
It was a big race double for the pair after O’Shea was ultra positive on stable companion Molahen Alham, the pair making all in the 1600m Emirates Colts’ Classic, defeating old adversary AF Al Hazer in the process. The pair had clashed twice, with O’Shea’s mount coming out second best on both those occasions.
O’Shea explained: “This horse has plenty of ability but, after winning his first two, has not shown the class we know he has on the track so we changed his routine a bit at home an decided to try and make all today.
“He really enjoyed it out in front and I was always pretty happy.”
Oertel now trails Musabah Al Muhairi by just three winners in the trainers’ championship (31-28).
The only Thoroughbred race on the card, the 2200m Abu Dhabi Championship Prep, was won in style by the Satish Seemar-trained Inthar, ridden confidently by stable jockey, Richard Mullen.
It was a third visit to the capital for Mullen’s mount and a third victory. He will surely be hard to beat in the Group 3 Abu Dhabi Championship in three weeks' time.
Mullen said: “He has been an absolute star around here and loves the tight track and going right-handed. That said, his run at Meydan in the Dubai World Cup Carnival was a good one – he was beaten less than three lengths.
“We have had a good season and it has been a great team effort from the boss and all the team. Inthar will, hopefully, be back for the Abu Dhabi Championship in three weeks and must have a great chance granted a bit of luck.”
Gerald Avranche produced the Eric Lemartinel-trained Ain Jaloot to lead about 100m out in the opening 1400m maiden, opening his career tally at only the second attempt.
They caught long time leader Memati Bash with the pair clear of the remaining 14.
Avranche said: “He has improved an awful lot from that first run and he could be a nice horse. He will have learned a lot again today and, hopefully, should improve with racing and experience.
“He picked up well in the straight and it was a good performance.”
Lemartinel was to complete a double with the victory of Simbar Du Loup in a 2200m handicap. Apprentice Noel Garbutt was aboard the winner, chased home by stable companion Ibn Battuta Monlau, the mount of Avranche.
Lemartinel said: “We had three in the race and thought they all had a chance. You can never expect a 1-2 but it is always nice when it happens and it is obviously great to get a double.”
The 2200m maiden was won by the Jaci Wickham-trained Qassam W’Rsan, produced to lead close home by Pat Cosgrave and opening his account at the 15th time of asking.
Cosgrave said: “He travelled round there nicely and picked up well in the straight. It probably was not a great race but he can only beat the opposition on the day.”
Source: HH SH Mansoor Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival
Photo: Morhaf Al Assaf