12 February 2017

Presidents Cup Double Delight for Jockey Richard Mullen

Jockey, Richard Mullen enjoyed a great night at Abu Dhabi on Sunday, winning four races, including both versions of HH The President Cup, highlighted by the AED3 million Purebred Arabian version, over 2200m, aboard the Jean De Roaulle-trained Loraa.

Third in the course and distance prep three weeks ago, Loraa had arrived in the UAE as a Group 1 winner in France but, reportedly, has not enjoyed a smooth transition.

Settled in midfield by Mullen, Loraa made easy progress 800m from home and, at the top of the straight, hit the front with the race essentially over as a contest.

They ran on strongly to win in style to the obvious delight of connections.

“She is a very special mare who has had a few problems,” said De Roualle. “I was delighted with her third in the prep race as I knew she would be in perfect condition tonight which was the main target."

“Hopefully we will now go for the Kahayla Classic at Meydan Racecourse on the Dubai World Cup card.”

Mullen said: “This is a great training performance as Jean did tell me before the race to expect a massive run from her. He was certainly right and that was a big performance.”

Half an hour earlier, with seven runners in the maximum field of 16, Satish Seemar always seemed to hold the edge in the Listed Thoroughbred version of HH The President Cup and his Akeed Champion, under jockey, Mullen, ran out the impressive winner.

Also victorious three weeks ago in the course and distance prep, Mullen’s mount has now won all three of his starts over this course and distance.

Happy to track the early pace, Mullen was clearly travelling strongly at halfway and, once able to angle out and secure a clear run at the top of the straight, the result was never in doubt.

“We have lots of these turf horses and it is so difficult to get them into races at Meydan and the Dubai World Cup Carnival,” said Seemar. “So we bring them here for the grass and we have been doing well. We thought Akeed Champion had a big chance and he thrives under these conditions.”

The Emirates Fillies’ Classic, a 1600m conditions contest, was won emphatically by AF Marrah, the only previous winner among the 13 runners.

Trained by Ernst Oertel for her breeder, Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda, the filly doubled her winning tally on her fourth start and proved far too good for the opposition under a confident Mullen, initiating a quick double.

“She has done that nicely,” said Mullen. “She seems to be improving with her racing and that was a good effort.”

Oertel was later to complete a double, this time with Antonio Fresu the victorious jockey aboard Madjanthis who led close home to win a 1400m handicap.

“This horse has to be ridden patiently and produced late so that was always my plan,” said Fresu.

Oertel added: “I was actually pretty hopeful as we gave this horse a bit of a rest and he has benefitted from that.”

It was then a treble for the trainer and a quartet for Mullen when AF Thobor landed the concluding 1200m handicap, completing a double for owner and breeder Al Nabooda.

The meeting opened with a 1600m handicap which was won in style by Sarab Al Reef, ridden by Fernando Jara for Abdallah Al Hammadi.

Never far off the pace, the pair led at the top of the straight and soon had matters under control.

It was a third consecutive victory for the horse who definitely appears to be on the upgrade.

“He had a lot of weight today but has won that in style,” said Jara. “He seems to be improving with his racing and, hopefully, can build on this but where he goes next is obviously up to the trainer.”