ABU DHABI // Shadiyda won the final race of the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup series to complete a superb double for Eric Lemartinel, his trainer, at Abu Dhabi’s first meeting of the season last night.
The 2007 UAE Arabian Derby winner made smooth headway from the middle of the field before coming with a strong run out wide under Gerald Avranche to win by more than five lengths from Kandar Du Falgas over the mile trip.
“My only worry was the four kilos he had to concede to all others for his win in the second last race of last season,” said Lemartinel, who completed back-to-back victories after Mooser had claimed the opening race of the Al Wathba Stud Farm series.
“He came to this race in very good shape and will now go into the National Day Cup in four weeks.
“He ran two good races in defeat over this course and distance twice last year, and this was a really good first effort for the season.”
Shadiyda, the seven-year-old chestnut son of Al Sakbe, was a neck second in the same race last year to his more illustrious stable companion Mizzna, a multiple Group 1 winner.
Mooser gave the trainer-jockey combination a convincing six-length victory in the handicap rated 0-45 run over a mile.
“He [Mooser] joined the stables after running some good races last season and ran a good first race,” added Lemartinel, who was unlucky not to have a treble on the night when Sestamina and AS Kahila were narrowly beaten in a maiden for fillies and mares by Sarabella, who was making her racecourse debut.
Philippe Barbe, the new trainer for Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, President of the UAE, had a dream start.
The Frenchman, who saddled a couple of winners for Oman Royal Cavalry in Abu Dhabi last season, won the first two races for the Al Asayl Stables with Burkan al Asayl and Noor Einy.
Both races were maiden events for local breds run over 1,300 metres and both winners were ridden by David Badel.
Badel said of Burkan al Asayl: “He ran a bit green and that was not surprising because it was his first race. I think I sent him to the front a bit early and he was idling, yet he stayed on well.”
The Frenchman did not have to work as hard on Noor Einy. The chestnut filly by Al Nasr was always travelling well and when she kicked for home, she went clear from the pack to win by six lengths.
“She showed a lot of speed and ability on her first run. She is already a good racehorse and should be winning again,” Badel added.
Musabah al Muhairi, the Emirati trainer, took the solitary prize for thoroughbreds when Dr Smart, ridden by Wayne Smith, came with a late run to beat Achill Bay and Warriors Key.