Published: July 23, 2009 :
Despite intermittent downpours, an enjoyable day seemed to be had by all at the annual Dubai International Arabian race day at Newbury in the UK on Sunday, and it was great to watch some of the splendid talent in attendance.
Obviously, for many UAE racing fans, the star on show was Rod Simpson’s flagbearer, Fryvolous who was bidding to gain his second win in the UK since scoring at Newmarket earlier in the month.
There was however, another top-class individual to strut her stuff and it was the filly Al Dahma who came over from Alban De Mieulle’s yard in Qatar. The mount of David Bouland had won 10 Group One races already and was bidding to add another contest to that extremely impressive tally.
That familiar saying ‘ladies first’ could not have been more appropriate and she managed to scrape home, under perhaps not ideal underfoot conditions, to win by a neck.
The seven-year-old doesn’t really have anything else to prove, but is now being aimed at the prestigious Arabian race at the L’Arc meeting at Longchamp in October, in which she is likely to take on Simpson’s admirable galloper who lost nothing at all in defeat when dead heating for third under Daragh O’Donohoe.
In fact during a post-race interview with the eccentric handler, he was keen to state that his charge is still improving and we have yet to see the best of him.
To be honest I’m not sure if he was talking about himself or the horse! Certainly dressed for the occasion with a long rain Mac and what can only be described as a cowboy hat, as the TV chat got into full swing, the subject moved on to how the sport can be best served by Sunday racing, his arms waving like a preacher.
For a moment I thought I had John McCririck on the other end of the microphone but after close inspection I realised that my interviewee didn’t quite have as much facial hair as the enigmatic racing personality and was in fact talking sense, unlike our larger than life pundit.
Talking of hair, I enjoyed the comments about my very own mullet which was seen for the first time in public on Sunday. Thank you to Trevor and Paddy from Green Stable who obviously appreciated my new attire enough to send me a message with their very own critique.
With the inclement weather conditions, I am glad I was able to make full use of my new mop as a hat!
Talent on show
This weekend sees the King George from Ascot and is a contest that in recent years has dwindled in numbers. However this year a very talented line-up goes to post with two Classic winners, not to mention a whole throng of Group One winners.
The 2,400m showpiece really does look well up to standard and Conduit, who will be ridden by Ryan Moore, is my idea of the winner, but Cima De Triomphe, trained by Luca Cumani, is a lively outsider and an eye-catching run will not surprise.