Dubai: The shortest distance between two points is always a straight line and trainer Erwan Charpy and jockey Dane O’Neill followed that principal to the tee to turnaround Tadbir’s fortunes and claim an important victory at Jebel Ali Racecourse on Friday afternoon.
Having learnt from past experiences where Tadbir twice finished runner-up over course and distance, the decision was taken to ride the four-year-old son of Kodiac from the front, and the tactics paid off handsomely.
After breaking well and securing a good position at the head of the 10 -horse field O’Neill’s charge never looked like being passed as he made all the running to win the Shadwell Farm Conditions race over 1,400 metres.
Hot favourite Golden Jaguar, a Classic hopeful last season, looked like he needed the run after being slowly away and running in one pace over the final two furlongs to finish third behind the persistent Karaginsky, who chased the winner all the way to the line.
O’Neil, sporting the colours of race sponsor Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, explained: “The race worked out very straightforward. My horse broke well from the gates, got good into a good position and when he received pressure from the other horses he fought back very bravely.”
Veteran UAE handler Charpy was savouring his second success of the season, and the successful tactics that were employed.
“The other day we got disappointed because as soon as he got behind other horses he didn’t want to go,” said the Frenchman.
“So we decided that if he had a good draw the plan was to make the running and go and it seemed to do the trick. Dane was very pleased with him he said he kept going and going.”
Reflecting on his season and objectives Charpy said: “It’s going good so far. The horses he are running respectably well.
“We don’t have that many runners but they are running well. As long as they keep running like that I’m happy.
“We have about 30 horses at home (Blue Stables). It’s always better to have a small stable of horses that run well than to have a big stable of horses that don’t.”
Emirati handler Ahmad Bin Harmash may have been a bit disappointed with the performance of the highly regarded Golden Jaguar, but earlier in the afternoon Tabernas gave him every reason to smile after posting an impressive victory in the 1,200 metres Al Shafar Handicap.
The mount of Connor Beasley crossed the line three-and-a-half lengths well clear of Kidd Malibu, ridden bt Szczepan Mazur with Daltrey and Dubai World Cup-winning jockey Fernando Jara third on the Ali Rashid Al Rayhi galloper, Daltrey.
The seven-race meeting got off to a start with a Purebred Arabian contest where champion trainer Ernst Oertel’s Af Kal Noor annihilated his 15 rivals by over 15 lengths to win the Al Sahel Contracting Co Maiden.