Brraq gains Al Maktoum Challenge Round 3
BRRAQ (Mahabb x Fattana by Njewman) trained by Jean-Claude Pecout for YAS Horseracing Management and ridden for the first time by Ryan Curatolo won Round 3 of the Al Maktoum Challenge, run over the same course and distance as the Dubai Kahayla Classic, just over four weeks away on Saturday 27 March.
Curatolo commented after the race: “It was a fantastic night and this is a very talented horse, even if he is a difficult horse to train as the trainer will tell you. Looking at Brraq’s run in the last two times, I knew he would maintain the pace. I was able to get on the inside rail on the turn and saved a bit of ground before challenging in the straight. They went a bit quick for him early on, but once on the rail, he was happy in a rhythm and it all went perfectly in the end. I am delighted to have a Group One winner on the international stage and have to thank connections for the opportunity.”
This was a second Gr1PA winner for the Al Ain based trainer, who is having his first season in Dubai, and for the horse who was victorious in Round 1 over 1600m. He also placed second in Round 2 over 1900m to RB Frynchh Dude.
Whilst Byerley Racing's colt chose to contest the Obaiya Arabian Classic instead of a rematch at with Brraq at Meydan, Brraq's performance cannot be considered a soft win. His time of 2.13.58, broke the previous track record set by Tallaab Al Khalediah when winning the Kahayla Classic in 2018.
Running on well in second was the Omani runner, Al Roba'A Al Khali ridden by Al Moatasem Al Balushi for trainer Younis Al Kalbani. A three-time winner in Oman, he was successful on his UAE debut at Sharjah in the GCC Cup, a Prestige contest over 1700m - a race won by AF Maher prior to his Kahayla Classic win in 2019. The five-year-old is owned and bred by Hamed Salim Rashid Al Balushi and is by Za'eem ASF, a brother to the multiple Group1PA winner and sire, Jaaafer ASF.
In third, stepping up to 2000m and testing the waters for a try at the Kahayla was AF Alwajel. The Group 2PA winning sprinter of Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda's had been third in Round 1 to Brraq, but has failed to find his feet on the Dirt at Meydan. Though he travelled well for Tadhg O'Shea throughout the majority of the race, he lacked his customary turn of speed when it mattered and so far, seems a much better horse on the quick Turf at Abu Dhabi.
Source: Equine Creative Media
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