Kanaan steals the thunder in Dubai Arabian Stakes
Connections and winners of the Premio Jebel Ali (Handicap) 1,500-metre race during the nine-race card Dubai International Arabian Races, supported by Shadwell, in Rome on Sunday. Image Credit: Supplied

Capannelle, Rome: The international appeal of the Dubai International Arabian Races (DIAR) was emphatically validated at Rome’s historic Capannelle Racecourse on a Sunday that was highlighted by the 2019 renewals of the Italian 2000 and 1,000 Guineas.

The unique feature of the nine-race card, supported by Shadwell, the breeding empire of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, was that three high-quality Purebred Arabians races were also held on a day once exclusively dedicated to the thoroughbred racehorse.

All three races were qualifiers for the DIAR’s flagship event at Newbury, England on July 28.

The first three finishers in each of the races booked their tickets to the Newbury showpiece where attractive bonuses await horses that can continue their winning form at Newbury.

The showpiece Arabian race was the Dubai International Arabian Stakes, a 2,000 metre contest for four-year-olds and over and was won in imperious fashion by Kanaan, the mount of French jockey Sylvian Ruis.

The winner, who outclassed his rivals, is a homebred of YAS Horseracing Stables in Abu Dhabi, owned by Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

Thierry Delegue, the racing manager to Shaikh Mansour, confirmed that Kanaan will next head to the French Derby (Group 1) at Chantilly, France following which he will be shipped to the UK to compete at the DIAR finale in July.

“His trainer, Didier Guillemin, always thought very highly of this horse,” said Delegue. “But with this performance we believe that he is a very exciting horse for the future.

The meeting opened with the Premio Taajer — UAE Embassy conditions event and it could not have produced a more thrilling finish to set the tone for the day, Bayan, also ridden by Ruis for Shaikh Mansour’s powerful YAS Horseracing Stables, prevailed by a short head from Jadeeda, ridden by Roberto Carlos Montenegro in the colours of Shaikh Hamdan.

The two jockeys fought tooth-and-nail all the way to the line with Ruis’s Bayan just doing the better work as the finish line approached.

“That was very close,” said Montenegro. “My horse is very brave and he stuck in and did what he had to do. But full credit to the runner-up, he looks a very nice horse as well.”

The third Arabian race, the Shadwell Arabian Stallions conditions event for three-year-olds, was won by Avez De Pine, ridden by top Italian jockey Andrea Atzeni.

Atzeni would also go on to complete a big-race double when he landed the Parioli Shadwell Stakes (Itaian 2,000 Guineas) with Out Of Time, while the Regina Elena Shadwell (1,000 Guineas) was won by the very impressive Fullness of Life, ridden by veteran French jockey Gerald Mosse.

“It’s an amazing feeling to come here and win a Guineas,” said Mosse. “I was in the UK earlier in the week and then I rode in Bahrain. I’ve been busy clocking up some airmiles, but wins like this make it very worthwhile.

The event was attended Mirza Al Sayegh, Director of Shaikh Hamdan’s Office and Chairman of the DIAR organising committee, together with his team of Abdullah Al Ansari and Masoud Saleh.