Nicconi Winner in Dubai
Nicconi has been enjoying a winning run of late and it continued in Dubai on Thursday when Australian Group II winner Faatinah scored at Meydan for the Hayes Daberning partnership.
Faatinah gave trainer David Hayes his first win in Dubai when battling back gamely after being headed to take this local debut.
Second in the Group I MRC Oakleigh Plate at this time last year, Faatinah he was unplaced in four further efforts during the Australian autumn, but showed good form during the spring when placed in a Group II event and then a Listed assignment in November.
Jumping to the lead from the barriers, Faatinah led the way down the Meydan straight and fought on gamely to win the 1200 metre turf sprint by a narrow margin.
Hayes has three horses at Meydan to run at this year’s carnival. They are being overseen by his son and training partner Ben, but Hayes was in town on Thursday and said, “Our horse probably would have been better if it was 1000 [metres] today, but you have to fit the program. He’ll be really improved for the run. I feel that when you’re traveling horses internationally it’s important to not overwork them, so we’ve kept him fresh and I know there’s a lot of improvement left in him. There’s another one of these conditions races in about a month and then hopefully he’ll get into the [G1 Al Quoz Sprint]; I think his rating is high enough to get chosen.”
A homebred for Shadwell, foaled and raised at Yarraman Park, Faatinah is the best of four winners from imported Danehill mare Alqwah (IRE), who comes from the family of NZ Horse of the Year King’s Chapel.