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DIAR gets off to a flying start with Meblsh and Vulcano winning Arabian features


The Dubai International Arabian Races (DIAR) started in brilliant style in Rome with clear skies and top quality racing being the order of the day at the Capannelle Racecourse last Sunday. The Shadwell-sponsored event was supported by two Arabian races under the DIAR banner, with the French raider Meblsh claiming the main Arabian event, the 1900m Listed Premio Dubai International Arabian Races 2017, bounding clear in the last furlong to run out a hugely impressive winner. Thomas Fourcy, who trains the Al Shaqab-owned 5yo, said: “This horse always showed quality and we are very happy with his win.

He will probably continue to travel to compete in other international Arabian races of this quality, probably in Italy again. “We will see how he recovers from this race and we may consider going to Newbury at the end of July, along with other horses.” Although Meblsh ended up winning easily, his jockey Faleh Bughanaim felt he could have given the colt a better ride. “The horse really surprised me and I gave him a very poor ride,” said the 26yo from Qatar. “I had him in a bad position, but he was brave and took the gaps when they opened. He is a very talented horse, with lots of quality.”

The Italian-bred pair of Nil Aziz and Nil Ashal placed second and third. The first three home qualify for the bonus scheme, available on Dubai Day at Newbury on 30 July. If a qualified horse wins at Newbury, it stands to gain a bonus on top of the stated prize money. Vulcano By Bonorvesu also qualified for the bonus scheme at Newbury after winning the Premio Shadwell Arabian Stallions, a 1500m conditions race for 3yos, by a comfortable margin. Vento Di Gallura and Verdigo, who finished second and third respectively also qualified for the bonus. In addition to the Arabian races, companies from Dubai, including Emirates Airline and Jebel Ali Racecourse, sponsored a card of Thoroughbred races.

Shadwell, an avid supporter of racing in Italy for more than 15 years, stand two Thoroughbred stallions at Allevemento Besnate, Arcano and Mujahid, who is Italy’s leading sire. The final race on the card was named in honour of Mujahid and was won by Sunset Key, a 3yo filly by Derrinstown Stud stallion Tamayuz, who had provided the winner of the Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, Precieuse, the previous afternoon, in Deauville. The meeting began with the 1600m Listed Premio Tadolina UAE Embassy Stakes in which the 5yo mare Mamma Ela registered her biggest career victory, staying on strongly to deny hot favourite, Aury Torch, by a neck. It was a fourth consecutive and 12th career victory in total, to the obvious delight of her trainer, Luigi di Dio.

Only five went to post for the featured 1800m Group 2 Premio Presidente della Repubblica, four trained by Alduino Botti and it was his Time To Choose who landed the spoils, chased home by Greg Pass, the one contender not saddled by the same handler. A 4yo, the winner showed grit and determination to post a career best effort. A handicap winner last May, he was victorious in the Listed Premio UNIRE in December at Naples and returned this season with a game win in the Listed Premio Circo Massimo. The Premio Shadwell Arabian Stallions, a 1500m conditions contest, was won emphatically by Vulcano By Bonorvesu who was far too good for seven rivals but the following Premio Emirates Airlines was much closer.

A 1400m handicap, it went to Porto Blanco who narrowly denied Monte Oe, the pair well clear of Richard Parker. The Capannelle are sponsors at Jebel Ali Racecourse and it was reciprocated; the Premio Jebel Ali Racecourse, over 1400m was won cosily by Poppet’s Lachy. Over 2400m, the Premio Shadwell Stakes provided Antonio Fresu, fresh from his excellent season in the UAE, a winning opportunity and he grasped the opportunity aboard Mushibest. Only six lined up for the Premio HH Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, over 1200m, but it produced a gripping conclusion in which Sharara just thwarted In Haste. A great day was enjoyed by all with Purebred Arabian racing, mixed with quality Thoroughbred action, again proving a real winner.

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15 Feb 2018
Issue Number: Issue 636
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