French delight as Deryan dominates Dubai Kahayla Classic - GulfToday

French delight as Deryan dominates Dubai Kahayla Classic


Deryan wins the Dubai Kahayla Classic, opening race of the 25th Dubai World Cup at Meydan racecourse on Saturday.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

French-trained Deryan (FR) broke the track record when he lifted the $750,000 Dubai Kahayla Classic Sponsored by Mubadala, the opener on Dubai World Cup night at Meydan, in 2 minutes 11.87 seconds.

Ridden by former French champion jockey Ioritz Mendizabal, the 6-year-old had secured a perfect position on the rail, just off the pace, and easily picked up the leader AF Alwajel 200m from the winning post to win by three-quarters of a length from the Ernst Oertel-trained AF Alwajel, while Mubasher Al Khalediah finished a further three and a half lengths back in third.

“He did it really well this time,” said winning trainer Didier Guillemin, who had lifted the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan on the same card with The Right Man in 2017.

“He was quite nervous last time when he ran in Riyadh. This time, he was much calmer and we rode him differently, a little further back. I’m extremely proud to win a Group 1 here and to win it for owner Sheikh Mansour is just amazing.”

Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nayan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, is not only the owner but also the breeder of the chestnut and wins this race for the second time after Rabbah De Carrère lifted the trophy in 2014.

For Ioritz Mendizabal it was a first victory in this dirt race and he said: “Last time in Riyadh, I was outside and he didn’t gallop and relax. Today I spoke to the trainer and he said it was important, after (leaving) the gate to stop him and relax behind horses. He galloped and relaxed and after the first corner, I was in the (right spot). Turning (into the straight), I knew I would win.”

The race is exclusively for Purebred Arabians, and Deryan’s emphatic victory demonstrates just why the breed has been making giant strides forward.

Ernst Oertel, trainer, AF Alwajel said: “Great run. He didn’t have it the easiest [run] up in front. He ran a great race. A good horse beat me. He’s a young horse, it’s his 2nd time over 2000m. Plenty to build on.”

Tadhg O’Shea, jockey - “My horse ran very bravely. I had a good stall number and looking through the race there was no obvious pace horse. So I was happy to do my own thing. He travelled great in the race. He ran a very brave race. Credit to the winner. The winner was very good on the day and my fellow lost nothing in defeat.”

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