Kieren Fallon: "great to get a winner with Carnival just around the corner"PICTURE: Getty Images
Mantoba opens local account under Fallon
Report: UAE, Sunday
Abu Dhabi: 1m3f handicap, turf, 3yo+
MANTOBA (Doug Watson/Kieren Fallon) was the game winner of the only thoroughbred race at Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening when making virtually every yard in the 1m3f handicap.
From a favoured low draw, Fallon was quick to get the five-year-old to the front and the pair were never headed and able to hold the late challenge of the fast finishing Moonlight Dash (Satish Seemar/Richard Mullen).
Mantoba, twice a winner in Britain for Brian Meehan, was opening his local account at the sixth attempt and on his third outing for Watson, having had three starts for Meehan at the 2012 Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan.
Fallon said: "The plan was always to be prominent, be it in front or take a lead, and I actually won on this horse in England at Newbury when he was two. This is his first win since but he has faced some tough tests and this was probably an easier task than most he has had here.
"If you look at his form he was Listed-placed and even ran at the Breeders' Cup as a juvenile.
"He has done that cozily enough this evening and was happy out in front before responding well when a rival appeared on his inside. Hopefully he can build on this and it is great to get a winner here with the Carnival just around the corner."