UAE riders reign supreme at endurance c’ship in Italy - GulfToday

UAE riders reign supreme at endurance c’ship in Italy

UAE riders reign supreme at endurance c’ship in Italy

UAE riders celebrate after winning the FEI Meydan World Endurance Championship.

The UAE riders dominated the FEI Meydan World Endurance Championship for Young Riders and Juniors held at the San Rossore racecourse in Italy.

The event was part of the trilogy of races of Toscana Endurance Lifestyle 2019. The previous World Championship for Young Riders and Juniors was also held in Italy in Parco Giardino Sigurta, Verona in 2017.  

Fares Al Mansoori, Saif Al Mazrouei, Shaheen Al Mazroei, Saeed Al Muhairi and Saif Beljafla were part of the UAE team which took part in the event.

Dual G1 winner Avilius returns to the elite level in Saturday’s G1 George Main Stakes on a Randwick card in Sydney that also marks the much-anticipated return of crack sprinter Osborne Bulls.

Avilius (Kerrin McEvoy) has proved a revelation since arriving from France, winning his first four on end in his first Australian campaign and another four, including two G1s in his second.

Like last spring, the G1 Cox plate is high on his agenda, but trainer James Cummings is also considering the G1 Caulfield Cup, a race won last season by international Godolphin runner Best Solution.

“The Cox Plate is an obvious target and the Caulfield Cup is also in our minds, under the right circumstances he could even run in both, but nothing is set in stone,” Cummings said.

Avilius has begun his latest preparation over sprint trips and Cummings is conscious that the 1,600m of Saturday’s race may also be short of his ideal distance.

“In his first preparation, he started off in longer races. This preparation has been more a test of how much speed he has in his legs.”

“This race will be challenging for him at 1,600m, but he’s very well and there is a bit in his favour, including the likelihood of a wet track.”

While Avilius appears in the day’s feature, he will be competing for attention with stablemate Osborne Bulls who is on a path to the $14 million The Everest at Randwick on Oct.19.

Osborne Bulls ran five consecutive G1 second placings last campaign and drops back to G2 level in The Shorts on Saturday.

“What I like about this race is that he isn’t in a G1 first-up and he doesn’t have to make a statement to get into the Everest,” Cummings said.

“He galloped at Randwick last Saturday week and he got enough out of the gallop to have him where I want him.”

“At the same time, we have him in a position where he can come on from this run.”

Osborne Bulls is joined by Viridine who Cummings is expecting to run a bold race in an event full of Everest hopefuls.

“He’s capable of being very strong to the line in this race,” Cummings said.

Cummings will also saddle Flit in the G2 Darley Tea Rose Stakes, a race he says will challenge the filly, but one in which she is capable of being competitive.

“It is a challenging assignment and should be a good test of her potential. I expect to see her getting to the line strongly,” he said.

One of the team’s newer additions, the former French galloper Cascadian (Kerrin McEvoy) has his second Australian start in the G3 Bill Ritchie Handicap with Cummings’ expectations lifted by a step up in trip to 1,400m.

“This will be a much more enjoyable test for him than the 1,200m first-up. We’re looking at G1 races like the Epsom or the Cantala Stakes for him,” he said.

Cascadian will be accompanied by Tally (Josh Parr) who is first-up in the same race.

Meanwhile, the proven G1 performer Best of Days and the up-and-coming Deprive head a Godolphin team that possesses strong prospects at Caulfield on Saturday.

The pair appear in the G1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, a race that offers conditions to suit both horses.

As the highest-ranked runner in the race, Best Of Days (Dean Yendall) has obvious claims that are enhanced by a G3 victory at Caulfield last spring, his crowning effort in the G1 Cantala Stakes and two promising runs this time in.

“This could be the most winnable 1,400m race he’s raced in with only one last-start winner entered,” Cummings pointed out.

“He went to Caulfield on Tuesday morning and the reports were that he worked beautifully.”

“I’d like to think this will set him up for another G1 in the Toorak or the Epsom.”

Deprive (Rachel King) comes into the race off a last-start second at Moonee Valley that followed five successive victories.

“He’s earned the right to run in a good race like this,” Cummings said.