THE plan to try one-paced Maiden Ahlaam over more ground came to fruition when she held on from the front to win her first 2000m contest at Scottsville on Sunday.
Jockey S’Manga Khumalo rode a polished race on Ahlaam, controlling the pace for most of the journey so his mount could dictate matters in a weak line-up. This won her the race.
Winner’s circle: S’Manga Khumalo and Ahlaam.
Ahlaam got away by a few lengths before the home turn and her rivals were off the bit early. Khumalo allowed them to get a little closer and then she galloped on again, lasting long enough to withstand a late lunge from outsider Patchit Up Baby.
Assistant trainer Nathan Kotzen, who had explained his strategy to viewers of Tellytrack, commented: “Ahlaam has been battling to win up to 1600m and we’ve seen on the polytrack and at home that she is one-paced, so we decided to put her over the longer trip to see if she can stay on the better. Well done to owner Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa, S’Manga, Mike and the team. Let’s hope Ahlaam can go on from here.”
Ahlaam is an Argentine-bred three-year-old filly by Asiatic Boy from a mare by Elusive Quality.