Abu Dhabi: Chris Hayes, in the yellow silks of Major General Shaikh Ahmad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Head of Dubai Police and Public Security, looked supremely confident on Forjatt on Sunday evening.
Weaving through runners down the straight, they hit the front 100m out to gain a popular victory for new Jebel Ali Stables trainer Nicholas Bachalard in the Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan National Day Cup at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.
Forjatt this became the third horse to win the prestigious event twice at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. He joined Emirates Gold and Jaasoos, both of whom won the race when it was called Listed National Day Cup. The 10-year-old had won the race way back in 2015 and then too, Hayes was the jockey. Emirates Gold had won the race in 2007 and 2008 while Jaasoos had won on 2009 and 2010.
All eyes were on Muntazah, runner-up in the 2018 Godolphin Mile (G2) on the Dubai World Cup card on his previous outing and one of the 15 runners.
Saddled by Doug Watson for Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, his trainer had warned he would improve for the outing with big targets awaiting at Meydan during the Dubai World Cup Carnival. Such appeared the case as the well-fancied charge tracked the leading bunch throughout the first half of the race, only to drop away early in the straight under Dane O’Neill. Forjatt simply proving too good in the straight.
“He is a great little horse, especially for his age,” Hayes said. “He jumped great and has then really travelled strongly in behind. The one thing with this horse is he needs to be produced late and I was able to take my time, threading through the gaps as they opened in the straight. That is a brilliant effort from all the team at home to get the old boy back to win this race again.”
Also over 1,600m, the Purebred Arabian Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan National Day Cup (PA G3) was won by RB Torch, originally the first reserve but granted a place in the 16-strong field after the defection of stable companion Abhaar, who was withdrawn after spiking a temperature over the weekend.