TM Fred Texas proved too good for the defending champion Seraphin Du Paon and a few other top contenders representing the UAE as Qatar won their second Dubai Kahayla Classic (Group 1) in impressive fashion.
Earlier in March TM Fred Texas was named the American Horse of the Year for 2011 and now running in the colours of Shaikh Jouan Bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the five-year-old son of Burning Sands was given a superb ride by Adrie De Vries.
Favourite Nieshan's stablemate Albar Lotois set the early pace and while the favourite settled at the middle, Seraphin Du Paon raced in the rear while Fred Texas kept gaining ground on the outside after starting from stall 13.
As they turned for home Dariya led the way for some time but with about metres to go TM Fred Texas forged ahead and despite a strong bid by the defending champion Seraphin Du Paon, the Qatari raider won with about two lengths to spare.
Timadit Al Mels, which was second to Nieshan in the Maktoum Challenge came ahead of Group 1 on Super Saturday, did well to finish third while Richard Hills on Versac PY came ahead of Nieshan.
TM Fred Texas's record in UAE-supported races just got better. He first finished second in the Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Grade 3) race in Houston in April last year. In June he went on to accomplish a historic Group 1 win in Kentucky and a month later was back to score another stunning success against classy opposition in the Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup (Grade 2), another race organised by the Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Flat Racing Festival in Delaware.
It was a huge win for the Umm Gharaba Stables which just started last year and Mohammad Abdullah Al Mannai, spokesperson, said: "This is a huge encouragement for us. We have plans to get bigger in the near future."
"Perhaps the fact that we were not the favourites helped us to an extent. But honestly, we believed in him and he has shown us the stuff he's made of with such a huge win," said Dutch jockey Adrie De Vries.
Khalfan Al Suwaidi, Manager for Shaikh Jouan: "I am lost for words. I am so nervous at the moment and I am shaking. He has been a great horse and today he has proved he is the best. For him to come here and win this best race in the world is something we have dreamed about ever since Jaafer won here. Hope we can do our best now in the other races too."
Ronald Martino, the trainer, who has been handling the champion for some time now said, "He is simply such a classy horse and each time he goes out there he gives it 110 per cent. We always thought he was good enough to take on the best and today he has gone way past in proving this. What makes this animal special? Well, it is his willingness to work and show his class each time."
— With additional inputs from Alaric Gomes, Senior Reporter, and Ashley Hammond, Staff Reporter.
Dubai Kahayla Classic (G1) sponsored by Emaar (Purebred Arabians 5yo+) 2000m (All-Weather):
1. TM Fred Texas (trained by Ronald Martino), Adrie de Vries.
2. Seraphin Dup Paon (Ernst Oertel), Olivier Peslier.
3. Timadit Al Mels (Sahbi Rajhi), Ted Durcan.
4. Versacy Py (Erwan Charpy), Richard Hills.
Also ran: Nieshan, Kandar De Falgas, AF Alghabra, Dariya, Al Mujahaz, Harran Asf, Albar Lotois, Sahib De Clos, Fryvolous, Aktar Lotois.
Winning distance: 1.75 lengths, 0.7, 3.5.
Winning time: 2min 17.12secs.
Winner owned by: Shaikh Jouan Bin Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani and trained in Qatar.