Trainer quotes ahead of Friday 14th Al Riffa Cup (10f)

January 13, 2022

“My name is Hesham Al Haddad and I’ve been training privately for Fawzi Nass for the last three seasons. We have almost 60 horses in training.

“I think Mars Landing has come out of his last race well. We’re looking forward to seeing him in this race on Friday as well. It’s going to be a big challenge for him, there are some big names in there. Most of the UK horses should have acclimatised by now. They’ve had their prep runs so it’s going to be a bigger challenge for him, especially since he is carrying top-weight. I think Mars Landing is a horse who will be difficult to beat. He always does enough so we do hope he has plenty more left in the tank.

“I think Magical Wish would be a danger to Mars Landing. Out of our own team, I think Tawaareq could be the outstanding one. He’s had his prep run and David (Egan) was happy with him. Although he finished second with Macaque, I don’t think that’s a criticism of his performance. Hopefully if he runs to that level again he can push Mars Landing close.

“Classical Wave has been here before when he finished unplaced. We’ve had some work done to him and hopefully he can progress.

“Macaque is a horse who is very close to my heart – I really like this horse. He has a good character and a big heart. He loves to race close to the pace. If he makes the running on Friday he could very dangerous as well. He finished third last time out, but I think he can do even better this time.

“It’s a nice field with 14 horses. Hopefully we can set the pace in the race to one that we would like, get into nice positions and keep the race in-house!

“Deep Intrigue has come out of his last race well. I think there is another race for him too. We’re looking into seeing him run again in the series. He was a lucky horse last time in that he was a reserve and wasn’t able to run until the last minute. Hopefully that luck sticks with him.

“The Bahrain Turf Series has been very good. We’ve been looking forward to it since they announced it last year. I think it has put Bahrain on the map in a big way in the sport of Horse Racing. We do have some quality horses here which has been evident when they have participated abroad, but I think improving the competition will make the racing even stronger here in Bahrain.”

Ali Jan, Wait Forever:

“Wait Forever is well and has been running consistently. He is showing us a lot of ability, but he just needs a bit more confidence to rediscover his old form. He didn’t win for two or three seasons but the ability has always been there.

“I hope he can produce a big run on Friday. He has been running well but not as well as he has been showing us at home. It’s a very competitive race. The Turf Series race are getting stronger and stronger. The UK horses are acclimatising, getting used to the track and the pace of the racing in Bahrain so they are sure to improve. He finished second to Magical Wish last time and I think that horse improved from his first run.”

George Baker, Dawaam:

“We bought Dawaam at the horses in training sales as part of the Shadwell dispersal. He’s got a lot of good form this horse. He was fourth in a John Smith’s Cup last summer. He let us down when he ran here first time by standing in the stalls. We’re all learning, reacting and adapting. The pace of the racing here is something we’ve got to react to pretty quickly otherwise we’re going to be left behind.

“Both of my horses are hold-up horses. Dawaam fell out of the stalls on his first run and rather than picking his way through the field, he just stayed where he was. The team here are delighted with him, they tell me he’s changed dramatically. He looks really well, he looks fantastic. He’s a fun horse for an enthusiastic syndicate who sadly aren’t here this time but are going to be here next time for sure. Whatever happens here, he’s rated in the high 90’s so we can have a bit of fun with him back in England and around the world. Hopefully he’ll run a bit better than he did on his first start here though.”

For the full field please click here

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