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18 Jan 2018
Issue Number: Issue 632
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Ellahi just glad to be back on track

11/01/2018
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Unable to saddle a runner before this season since November 2015, when two of his first eight contenders had won, Irfan Ellahi announced his return to the racecourse with a vengeance on Saturday, providing his main patron, Sheikh Saeed Maktoum Al Maktoum, a double. Both his November 2015 victories were also achieved at Sharjah, a track the handler has enjoyed the majority of his success before his runners’ participation was curtailed by an outbreak of strangles in an adjoining area to his own stables. Last weekend’s brace was kicked off by Qanoon who was followed into the winner’s enclosure 90 minutes later by JAP Yajoud.

Hardly surprisingly given the enforced action from competitive action, both horses were showing the benefit of a previous outing this season and Ellahi will be hoping for more of the same. Ellahi, who has the benefit of a pristine private training track, said: “It’s always great to be back and racing so to have such a good day as I did at Sharjah was brilliant. “We haven’t raced for the past two years because we were in quarantine, but I think we have made a great start, having come back after such a long time and had such a long break. “Basically, it just feels good to be back at the track and saddling horses for races.

It’s a great feeling and when your horses win it just gets better and better. “We started a bit late this season, but hope to catch up with the rest and if things go like at Sharjah, then Inshallah we will have many more winners.” Qanoon and JAP Yajoud both won their respective maidens at Sharjah and speaking of their successes, Ellahi added: “The quarantine years meant that most of our horses aged without racing. Qanoon last raced as a 3yo and he was six when he won at Sharjah last week. “It’s the same for JAP Yajoud too as he has just turned four. So they’re both older horses where age is concerned, but babies in terms of experience.”

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