Wolverhampton 21st May 2005
By Paul Simmons

Track: Standard / Polytrack

The Palm Strip Maiden Stakes – 7 Furlongs:
1. Ashhab
Mr. P Collington
2. CS Kabira Mr. P Deymonaz
3. Jasoora Mr. S Walker

Distances: 2 ½, ¾ 10 ran

Winner owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin R Al Maktoum. Trained by Mrs. G Duffield. Bred by Shadwell Estate Company Ltd.

The opening maiden saw Gill Duffield and Sheikh Hamdan open their seasonal account. CS Kabira (Djebbel x Ciarosa (Ciato)) set a scorching pace from the start of the seven furlong maiden, and when tackled by the eventual winner Ashaab she battled on well but had no chance and had to settle for second. The UAE Sheikh Mohammed bred Jasoora (Passem Lotois x Emeraude Du Cayrou) ran on purposefully in the final furlong to take third on a promising debut. Phil Collington was always travelling supremely well on Ashaab (Way To Go x Mangana), he took on the leader within the final two furlongs and showed a useful turn of foot to storm clear by three lengths in the final furlong to justify his favouritism. Gill Duffield confirmed that there were no big targets for the winner and would wait to see what mark the handicapper awards him.

The Shindagha Graduation Stakes (PBA & Anglo) 0-105 1 Mile 6 Furlongs:
1. Oakvalley Rialto
Mr. P Collington
2. Sugar Dandy Miss C J Green
3. Castle Lee Lad Mr. S Walker

Distances: ¾, 12 5 ran

Winner owned and trained by Mr. W Hill. Bred by Mrs. M-L Lees.

The Anglo / PBA race provided a fantastic finish as Sugar Dandy and Oakvalley Rialto battled out a thrilling finish. Castle Lee Lad set the pace from the start until four furlongs out when Caroline Green brought Sugar Dandy (Ballacashtal x Chantille Saucy Sal) to lead. In the final two furlongs it was nip and tuck all the way as the two fought it out, in the end Phil Collington drove out Bill Hills useful recruit Oakvalley Rialto (Band On The Run x Rialtesse) to score by half a length. It was the mares fourth run and she should progress on the basis of this effort. Castle Lee Lad (Kenilworth Castle x Miss Annabel Lee) did all the hard work and stayed on for third and should come on for the run.

The Jebel Ali Racing Club Handicap Stakes (Series Qualifier) 0-70 1 Mile 4 Furlongs:
1. Operatic
Mr. D Colledge
2. Sarrafina Mr. P J Murphy
3. Lile D’Amour Mr. S Holdsworth

Distances: 8, 2 ½ 12 ran

Winner owned by Mrs. J R Kelway. Trained by Mrs. A Colledge. Bred by Mrs. E Harrington.

The Jebel Ali Racing Club stakes was arguably the most competitive race on the card with less than five pounds splitting the 12 runners and many not making the cut. Operatic (Vert Olive x Operetta) a 10/1 chance, hadn’t won since 2002 and ridden by trainer Angela Colledge’s step son David he was allowed to dominate from the start and made the one mile four furlongs a true test of stamina. By the two furlong marker Operatic was several lengths clear and not stopping and eventually won by a comfortable eight lengths giving owner Julie Kelway her first winner Arab racing. Trainer Angela Colledge remarked afterwards “We decided to let him dominate like he did when he won his maiden at Taunton, and he’s come right back to form”. Sarrafina (Khairouan x Fayrelands Gold) was making her seasonal debut and ran an eyecatching race, she was always travelling well and although she couldn’t match strides with the winner she was clear of the rest and remains on a decent mark. Lille D’Amour (Merlin Al Maury x Daad) an all weather specialist was a little disappointing but still stayed on for third and is worth another chance.

The Al Wasl Banded Stakes (Band C) 1 Mile 1 ½ Furlongs:
1. Mehshiv
Mr. A Newey
2. CS Lafaz Mr. J R Collier
3. Aqtal Mr. F J Offord

Distances: 4, 5 10 ran

Winner owned and trained by Miss S L Davison. Bred by Mrs. L Sharpe.

The Al Wasl Banded Stakes saw trainer Sam Davison get off the mark for the season when 8/1 shot Meshiv (Normativ x Mehsha) came home with three and half lengths to spare over his rivals. “We nearly retired him last season as he kept disappointing but he seemed to really enjoy himself today” Sam commented after the race. Mehshiv who has looked a little reluctant to put his best foot forward in the past travelled well throughout the race and when challenged by CS Lafaz in the final two furlongs dug deep and came clear in the final furlong. CS Lafaz (Sambist x Kilcummer Lalla) came at the winner full of running but found little in the final furlong but remains well handicapped and seems to be coming into form. Aqtal (Crusader x Azz El Kheil) is also on an attractive mark and although a further four lengths off the second he was running on at the end and will be interesting when stepped up in trip.

The Al Ras Handicap Stakes (0-90) 1 Mile 6 Furlongs:
1. A Mans Man
Mr. S Holdsworth
2. Lamasat Mr. P Collington
3. Ami D’Jani Mr. S Walker

Distances: ¾ , 2 6 ran

Winner owned and bred by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Trained by Mr. W Smith.

The Al Ras Handicap provided a controversial result and punters had to await the result of a stewards enquiry before they could collect. Deolali and Almost All set a fast pace from the start of the one mile six furlong race and did each other no favours, but A Mans Man was always travelling comfortably in behind with Lamasat stalking. The winner A Mans Man (Dormane x Amira D’Albret) came to lead from three furlongs out as the pace setters tired, but Lamasat was cruising in behind and when she came to make her move on the rail side A Mans Man seemed to claim it and she had to come wide and arguably lost momentum. Jockey Sam Holdsworth had to endure a few agonising moments before the stewards inquiry resulted in the places remaining unchanged. Lamasat (Bengali D’Albret x Komet) went down by a length and had she had a clear run the finish would have been closer. Ami D’Jani (Tidjani x Amira D’Albret) was running on in the final furlong but had no chance with the first two who both seem to be improving stayers. The favourite CS Clarion ran a lifeless race and something is clearly amiss.

The Nad Al Sheba Classified Stakes (0-85) 6 Furlongs:
1. The Vertuous Crusader
Mr. D Turner
2. Baraka Sharlap Mr. S Walker
3. Shafaq Mr. P Collington

Distances: ¾, short head 6 ran

Winner owned by Mr. J Cook. Trained by Mr. A J Brunton. Bred by Mrs. L Humphrey.

David Turner is in the form of his life having scored a hatrick at Exeter last week and added to that haul with an emphatic victory on John Cook’s stallion The Vertuous Crusader (Vert Olive x Crusaders Spirit (Sky Crusader)) who at the age of seven seems to be getting better. The favourite was impressive last week when winning at Exeter but he scored a cheeky victory over this six furlongs under a supremely confident ride from David Turner. Always handy The Vertuous Crusader kicked for home from the two furlong marker and was comfortably clear of his rivals when eased at the line. Baraka Sharlap (ZT Shahkar x Al Tamah) was flattered by only being a length off the winner and seemed tapped for toe in the final furlong, but he fought gamely to the line to claim second from Shafaq (Izentespeshal x Bisbille) and seems to be on a fair mark.

The Wild Wadi Banded Stakes (A & B) 1 Mile 1 ½ Furlongs:
1. Raihan
Mr. S Holdsworth
2. Pronika Mr. P Deymonaz
3. Notid Mr. F J Offord

Distances: 3, 1 9 ran

Winner owned by Mr & Mrs A Connally. Trained by Mrs. S Connally. Bred by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Riahan (Passem Lotois x G Sustika) repaid her trainer Sue Connally’s faith in her when running away with one mile one and half furlong Wild Wadi Banded stakes. Messenger Man provided his usual pace maker role although showed improvement by staying on in fouth. But Raihan was given a superb ride by Sam Holdsworth and was always travelling well in behind, she came to lead with three furlongs to run and scored comfortably by three lengths. Pronika (Nikel x Protalina) was always handy and chased the winner from two furlongs out and stayed on nicely in the final furlong, she remains as consistent as always. Notid (Tidjani x Sherrie Noreen) ran another eye catching race in third and is one to follow at this level.

In Form:

Jockeys - David Turner 4 wins, Sam Holdsworth 3 wins, Phil Collington 2 wins.

Trainers – Bill Smith 3 wins, Tony Brunton 3 wins.

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