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Dubai World Cup 2022

Dubai Kahayla Classic
Gr1PA 2000m

Preview & Podcast
Deryan ©Debbie Burt
Six Group 1 winners will clash in the G1 Dubai Kahayla Classic (sponsored by Ithra Dubai), the traditional opening act on Dubai World Cup day affectionately known as the Purebred Arabians’ World Cup.

They include 2021 winner Deryan, trained by Didier Guillemin, who is seeking a second win, though has yet to attain the stauts of triple winners, Madjani and Alanudd. According to trainer's daughter and regular rider Clemence Gullemin, Deryan comes here in better form than when finishing fourth in the Obaiya Arabian Classic in Saudi Arabia last month. However he has taken an identical preparation en route to Meydan as when he won it last year, though faces a wide draw in 16, unlike the more favourable 5 he had in 2021.

Deryan heads up a strong team for owners Yas Racing, who also run two other Group 1 winners, Jugurtha De Monlau and Brraq. Both trained by Jean-Claude Pecout, they finished first and second in G1 Maktoum Challenge (Round 3) over course and distance last time out.

Jugurtha De Monlau will ridden by Dubai World Cup-winning jockey Fernando Jara, who must negotiate a passage from a tricky draw in 10.

“He’s a horse that has some speed, but there are a quite a few horses with speed drawn inside of me,” he said. “We’ll have to see in the first part of the race how we break and what we decide to do. RB Rich Lyke Me is a very fast horse with the one post, so we may have to play the break.

“If he performs like he did last time then I think he’d going to run a good race.”

RB Rich Lyke Me will be ridden by Adrie De Vries, a dual winner of this race. The G1 Maktoum Challenge (Round 1) winner, prepared by Fawzi Nass, has a rematch with Hadi De Carrere, trained by Thomas Fourcy, who beat him in the G2 Obaiya Arabian Classic in Riyadh. Fourcy's team has been in unstoppable form winning the major Arabian races in Goodwood, Longchamp, Abu Dhabi, Doha and Riyadh, but de Vries is confident his mount can come out on top.

“He ran a really good race in Saudi Arabia and has eaten everything since – eating is his hobby,” said the Dutch rider. “Back on this track I’d be hopeful we can reverse the form from Saudi as he’s a horse with so much speed.”
AF Alajaj at Desert One Stables on Thursday morning
©Debbie Burt
The connections of AF Alajaj – owner Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda, trainer Ernst Oertel and rider Tadhg O’Shea - won this race in 2019 with AF Maher, and were second last year with AF Alwajel. They have confidence in their five-year-old’s ability following his G2 Mazrat Al Ruwayah win over a mile here last month, though will be stepping up to 2000m for the first time todday.

“ I think he’s got a good chance,” said Oertel. "He's done everything we've asked of him and he has plenty of speed. I don't think an extra 400m will bother him."

Leading Arabian trainer Alban De Mieulle is yet to win this race but he has a one of the leading contenders in First Classs, winner of the inaugural Al Mneefah Cup, a new PA Listed race run on turf at the Saudi Cup meeting over 2100m. He also fields Munir Du Soleil, sixth in Qatar's biggest race the HH The Amir Sword to Lady Princess, but will likely appreciate the drop back to 2000m here.

Dergham Athbah was an improving third to First Class in Saudi Arabia last time, while the home team is bolstered by G1 Maktoum Challenge (Round 2) winner Rajeh, ridden by Antonio Fresu for Musabbeh Al Mheiri.
Rajeh and Antonio Fresu exercise at Meydan yesterday morning
© Debbie Burt
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The Arabian Racehorse
Did you miss The Arabian Racehorse - Winter Issue 2022
Breeding Special?

  • Includes an in depth interview with Paul Simmons of Zayin Arabians

  • New Stallions

  • Sales Review

  • HH The Amir Sword Festival and The Saudi Cup reviews
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