A high class field lined up for this newly sponsored 1m2f Conditions stakes - the nine runners had between them amassed over £5 million pounds in prize money and were racing for a total prize fund of £20,000. The ground had been given as heavy, soft in places with the times all being slower than standard throughout the card.
Following the Al Thani stable’s success at Newmarket the previous afternoon, the Julian Smart trained quartet were expected to dominate and so it proved to be. The season’s most improved horse, Tidarbret, again tried to make all from the front under Jim Crowley, however David Batteate’s charge was unable to deny the challenge of the classy Jaafer, ridden by Daryll Holland. The pair fought bravely to the line on very testing ground with Jaafer prevailing by a length.
After Tidarbret Smart then had the next three home in Areej, Mu’azzaz and Azraa Min Albarq, who were no more than four lengths adrift and were over 20 lengths clear of the Royal Cavalry of Oman’s Vizir Des Cedres.
Despite being without a win since taking the Group 1 Emir Sword in 2011, Jaafer has been consistently placed at the highest level and his victory was welcomed by his trainer, for whom the win was somewhat of a surprise.
“I’m very, very pleased for Jaafer, ever since I joined Al Shahania and first got to know Jaafer, he has been an absolute superstar! We haven’t stopped [racing] him and not only that he’s breeding, he’s got foals on the ground, he’s one very, very, busy horse, so if anybody deserved it, it was him.”
“Without question it was the softest ground that he’s ever run on and I honestly didn’t think he would run on that. Newbury’s not his favourite track, as the straight is so long and he prefers one where he can ping off the bend with a short home straight. I was very impressed with the way he did that, but to be honest I think the others had to chase down Tidarbret, which probably cost them their chance. Tidbret is probably the most improved horse I’ve seen in many years, he’s very, very good right now, so they made us work for it, that’s for sure.”
Smart then went on to say that the immediate plans for his runners were to see how they all come out of the race, as he expects them to need a good few weeks to recover and it may be that they end up going straight to Dubai Day without a further run.