Meydan Curtain-Raiser Thriller | Sporting Post

A thrilling finale greeted spectators at the 2023 Dubai World Cup in Meydan with local hopes Hayyan and Barakka embroiled in a long duel in Group 1 Dubai Kahayla Classic (2000m) – the traditional opener of the map – ahead of the Majed Al -Jahoori intern Hayyan prevailed with a short head.

Ridden by Panamanian jockey Oscar Chavez, who also joined him in winning the second round of last month’s Al Maktoum Challenge, he was positioned on the rail just behind a fast pace in a handy fourth place.

The Group 1 Dubai Kahayla Classic Stampede (Image – Chase Liebenberg)

On the way home, Barakka traveled best with Hayyan to look for daylight, but as soon as that came he quickly walked past Ahmad bin Harmash’s representative.

Barakka showed all his heart, fighting back and even retaking the lead for a brief moment until Hayyan pushed him back in the final 10 yards to win by a short head.

A chaotic start for 2021 winner Deryan ended his hopes of reclaiming his Dubai Kahayla Classic crown, while last year’s First Class winner never felt comfortable in the early stages of the race but made up good ground towards the end and eventually third became.

Al Jahoori, who won this race for the first time with Rabbah De Carrere in 2014, said: “To win this for the second time is a dream and I am very happy. I must thank His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his support.”

Panamanian jockey Oscar Chavez raises his hand in triumph (Image – Chase Liebenberg)

His son and assistant coach Sultan added: “Congratulations to my team. Hayyan did very well. He won round 2 and we hoped he would win again today. He did well and won a very exciting race.

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“This horse is very sensitive. My heart skipped when I saw him stop (near the goal post) but he kept going and luckily he won. My father won that for the first time when I was just 14 years old, Rabbah De Carrere was one of the best horses we’ve ever had and finally we had another champion in Hayyan. I hope more will follow.

“I’m not sure what we’re going to do next, we need to talk to the boss.”

Oscar Chavez, winning jockey said: “The moment the trainer pulled me up I knew he was doing a lot better than his last run. I knew he would jump and put himself in a good position without forcing him too much.

“He slowed down a bit but he saw the other horse and committed again. It’s a great way to cap off the season and I have to thank all the owners and trainers for the support.”

Barakka (2nd), jockey Ray Dawson, said: “Heartbroken. It’s better to lose a few lengths than get beaten like that but he’s still an inexperienced youngster and hopefully he’ll improve next year. This is racing, someone has to be on the losing side, but he gave me everything and I couldn’t be prouder of him.”

First Class (3rd), jockey Maxime Guyon said: “The horse has run a lot in the winter and has gone to Abu Dhabi and Qatar. He had every right to be a little tired. But I had a good ride, it broke well and I was able to sit well, covered on the outside and not having to endure too much kickback. The horse lacked a proper foot turn like he showed last year but ran to the line and it was a good run.”

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Coach Jean de Mieulle said: “He ran well and everyone is very happy. He got quite a bit of kickback, which made it difficult, and he was out for a long time. We’ll give him a break and then prepare him for Goodwood in the summer.”

Kerless Del Roc (5th), jockey Fernando Jara said: “I had a good ride and position, we were at a good pace and I thought he was going to give me something at the end. When the 600m came I let go of him a bit and when he didn’t go I knew I was in trouble so maybe next time.”

Jugurtha De Monlau (6th), jockey Patrick Dobbs said: “He was restless in goal and he missed the kick so it was game over for him. He has to be in front.”

AF Alajaj (9th), jockey Tadhg O’Shea said: “He jumped, he traveled and he had a nice journey the whole time. The 10 stadia probably stretched him, but he’s a top horse that goes a mile. ”

Deryan (10th), jockey Bernardo Pinheiro said: “It was over at the start.”

RB Rich Lyke Me (11th), jockey Adrie de Vries said: “He was flat as a pancake.”

Mujeeb (14th), jockey Richard Mullen said: “He’s never been to this track. He was doing well but seemed to be struggling for the first time at this track.”

Winning time: 02:14:15 (race record 02:11.87)

Watch the replay:

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