Author: Duane Fonseca

There’s only so much a man can do and Erwan Charpy believes he has done his bit despite not having a yard filled with names that have the odds stacked in their favour. Three wins from the 19 he’s sent out so far in the opening month of the 2019/20 UAE racing season is perhaps a fairly decent score, when you consider the veteran French handler has less than 30 runners in his yard. Charpy definitely thinks so! “We have to work with whatever we have and that’s what we are doing and it’s been good so far,” Charpy told Al Adiyat after landing his second feature race of the season with Tadbir, who won the 1400m conditions event at Jebel Ali under HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s retained jockey Dane O’Neill on Friday.

“The horses have been running respectably well and when you don’t have many runners you must make sure the ones that are part of your stable are in good form and we’ve been able to focus on the names that we have and get them in good shape. “We have been doing fine so far and hopefully this run will continue through the season. For now, I am happy with the way things have gone so far. We have less than 30 runners and if they run well then that’s better than having 100 that don’t run well at all.” While Tadbir did him well at Jebel Ali, Mukalal won the feature at Abu Dhabi the preceding week under Tadhg O’Shea.

Cranesbill with fellow Frenchman Fabrice Veron in the saddle supplied him with his first success of the season. Charpy was unhappy with the way Tadbir performed on his first run of the season when he pulled in ninth in a field of 13 during Jebel Ali’s opening meeting. The 4yo Kodiac gelding placed second on two occasions over course and distance here last season as well, which made Charpy glad to see him turn the corner under O’Neill. “The first time he ran we were very disappointed because as soon as he was behind horses they didn’t want to go. We had a good draw and we had decided to do Happy Charpy hoping for the best after relatively good start to campaign Tadbir Issue 684 - Thursday 21 November 2019 13 the running and go.

That’s why we were second two times last year. The plan seems to do the trick and Dane was very pleased with him and he said he kept going and kept going all the way,” Charpy added. During an interview two seasons ago, Charpy told us about how luck had eluded him over the past few seasons and how the wins had dried up from healthy 20+ figures to single digit seasonal totals. His 11 winners in 2016/17 was his only double figure tally since 2008/09, when he had claimed 17 and last season he managed a paltry seven overall with ten placed second and 15 finishing third. Counting his three for the season, Charpy’s overall score in the UAE stands at a staggering 537. He is currently the third winningmost trainer in the history of UAE racing behind Zabeel boss Satish Seemar (821) and Red Stables supremo Doug Watson (586).

The UAE Champion Trainer’s title has eluded him on numerous occasions even when his seasonal totals nearly reached the 40 and above bracket. His most successful season in terms of sheer number of wins came in 2001/02 when he totalled 47 and finished runner up to Seemar who had two more. While the Champion Trainer title has been elusive, Charpy has scalped some of the choicest races in the UAE; sometimes in multiples. His first big success in the Emirates arrived on the back of Nabhaan in the 1998 running of the Al Maktoum Challenge R3, which was run as a Listed event then and now enjoys Group One status. He won the Group 3 Jebel Ali Mile thrice with Pacino (2002), Golden Arrow (2009) and Sefri (2016) and has accounted for as many Group 3 Abu Dhabi Championships, having won the turf race with Bowman (2004), Great Plains (2007) and Zamaam (2017).

One of his recent stable stars, Furia Cruzada landed him the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge R2 in 2017 before finishing 13thbehind Arrogate in the Group 1 Dubai World Cup. Charpy has tasted World Cup night success as well although with a code change that saw Manark triumph in the Purebred Arabian Group 1 Dubai Kahayla Classic under O’Neill in 2015. “We have a few more horses coming to the yard and I have to finalise the runners for the carnival,” Charpy said, who revealed Logrado, seventh behind Coal Front in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile last season, is already part of the yard. “I have three coming. Logrado the Argentinean horse is already with us and maybe we’ll see some who will go up.” Three is a good start, up is where Charpy will look to go.