Ertijaal produced a blistering performance to give Jim Crowley his biggest winner since joining forces with Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum in the Longines Master Collection Handicap on the opening night of the Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan.
Having been touched off in the Group One Al Quoz Sprint on World Cup night, the Ali Al Rayhi-trained six-year-old showed he was more than capable of giving weight away to his rivals in a devastating display of speed under the champion jockey.
Fast out of the stalls, Ertijaal, who was formerly trained in England by William Haggas, quickly adopted a position at the head of the field he was to maintain all the way to the line in the five-furlong dash to claim a length-and-three-quarter success.
Crowley said: “He has got plenty of boot and was very fast out of the stalls. I just got into a nice rhythm and let him flow and he stuck on nicely.
“He will improve a lot for the run. He was giving plenty of weight away, but it’s obviously the first time I’ve ridden him.
“He wants to get on with it and he doesn’t like to be in there too long (stalls) but he got a great start tonight.
“For me he felt like he was still getting a little bit tired and I’d like to think he will come on a fair bit for that run. There is plenty to look forward to.”
Although the form figures of the son of Oasis Dream suggest he is best at the minimum trip, Crowley believes a step back up to six furlongs for another go at the Al Quoz – which has reverted to that distance – should not pose too many problems.
He added: “He has got lots of speed, but he has won over six and over further.
“The thing is when he goes further he will probably find it a lot easier as there won’t be so much competition for the lead. Wherever he goes I want to be on him.”