Dubai World Cup: Chavez on cloud nine after winning Dubai Kahayla Classic


Oscar Chavez rode an absolute blinder aboard YAS Racing-owned Hayyan to win the $1 million Dubai Kahayla Classic (Purebred Arabians Group 1), the opening race at the 27th Dubai World Cup meeting on Saturday, after a protracted two-horse battle with Barakka.

With the crowd cheering him on, the 43-year-old Panamanian rider extracted the best out of Hayyan to claim one of the biggest wins of his career.

The winner also gifted Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs, a fourth success in the race and second in the last three runnings, following Deryan in 2021.

Sheikh Mansour had previously won the 2,000 metre dirt contest with Rabbah De Carrer (2014) and Mizzna (2008).

Hayyan was having his first start for Emirati trainer Majed Al Jahouri, a former endurance rider, who is based at Sheikh Mansour’s YAS Racing Stables in Abu Dhabi.

“I can’t believe what’s happening,” said Chavez who has been riding in the Singapore-Malaysi MRA circuit since 1993. “The horse showed so much of courage and did not give up.

“It was very close at the line but I was confident that we had won, narrowly.”

With more than 1,200 wins, Chavez has been one of the most dominant riders in Asia and was invited to rider in Dubai by Kuwaiti owner-trainer Rashed Bouresly.

“This will help me to continue to dream. It’s a great feeling to win this for the UAE and for Sheikh Mansour and trainer Majed Al Jahouri,” said the globe-trotting rider, who has thrilled fans in Hong Kong, Mauritius, India, France and the USA.

Hayyan was previous trained by Francisco Sanchez and has won several major races including the Classic Arab Group 1 Stakes at Toulouse and also the Group 1 Doha Cup.

The eight-year-old son of Munji had won Round 2 of the Al Maktoum Challenge at Meydan, one of the main lead up races to the Kahayla Classic.

Last year’s winner First Classs never got into the race and could only first third, eight and a half lengths behind Hayyan and Barakka.

Kerless Del Roc, who was fancied to have a say after his impressive win in the Madjani Stakes, could only finish fifth under former Dubai World Cup winner Fernando Jara.

“I got a good trip and a good position, we were going at a good pace and I thought he would give me something at the end, but when the 600 metres came. I let him go a little bit and when he didn’t go, I knew I was in trouble. So, maybe next time,” said the Dubai-based rider.

Another fancied contender and Round 1 Al Maktoum Challenge winner RB Rich Lyke Me, failed to fire for Dutch great Adrie de Vries, who said he horse was ‘flat as a pancake.’

If 10-time UAE champion jockey was hoping to provide leading Purebred Arabian breeder Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda as second success in the race after Af Maher in 2019, it was not to be as Af Alajaj trailed in ninth place.

“He jumped, he travelled and he got a lovely trip all along. The 10 furlongs probably stretched him, but he’s a top horse going a mile,” said O’Shea.


1.Hayyan (Majed Al Jahouri) Oscar Chavez

2.Barakka (Ahmed bin Harmash) Ray Dawson

3.First Class (Jean De Mieulle) Maxime Guyon