SATURDAY’S penultimate fixture of the Jebel Ali season was highlighted by a mile handicap sponsored by Shadwell, and the admirable nine-year-old Bochart returned to winning ways, gaining his first win since April 2021. He was never headed under Fernando Jara in the colours of Al Bait Mutawahed Team for Bhupat Seemar.
Bochart was winning for the ninth time, all in the UAE and for the third time at Jebel Ali.
Seemar said of the Darley-bred son of Dubawi: “He is very versatile regarding trip and he has won over six, seven and eight furlongs. Obviously he is not getting any younger and he can be a bit quirky, but he has been a great servant for the yard and his owners. It was nice to see him win again after a while.”
Pat Dobbs and King Of The Nite were convincing winners of a seven-furlong maiden for Doug Watson and Rockingham Ranch, the four-year-old gelded son of Empire Maker winning at the fifth time of asking, but just his second start since joining the American handler.
With the 16 runners spread across the track, Dobbs was able to track the pace on the far side rail before taking up the running about two furlongs from home, with the race soon in their safekeeping.
Watson said: “Pat gave him a great ride. He is probably going to be a six-furlong horse, but we now at least know he handles conditions here which opens up options.”
A full field of 16 contested a seven-furlong handicap, but Honorable Justice proved far too good under Royston Ffrench, sporting the silks of Faiuz Jamil Al Turkumani for recent Group 1-winning trainer Salem bin Ghadayer. Conceding weight to all bar one of his rivals, the six-year-old entire son of Majesticperfection was doubling his career tally, his previous win also coming at Jebel Ali.
The trainer and jockey completed a double in the concluding near 10-furlong maiden, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum’s First Of November soon in front and in charge throughout the final two furlongs to make it third time lucky after two Meydan appearances. A three-year-old Bernardini colt, he clearly relished this stamina test.
A maiden after 12 starts, the four-year-old Kitten’s Joy colt Dignity Joy rectified that in style under Antonio Fresu in a six-furlong handicap for Musabbeh Al Mheiri, carrying the red and white striped silks of Elbashir Salem Elhrari. He did have placed efforts on his CV, but actually won this relatively comfortably having quickened in style with about two furlongs left to run.
A second mile handicap sponsored by Tattersalls saw Bernardo Pinheiro and Alla Mahlak land the spoils for Rashed Bouresly and the Bouresly Racing Syndicate. The pair swept to the front entering the final furlong and never looked likely to be denied what was a third career success, all at Jebel Ali, for the six-year-old entire son of Kitten’s Joy.
The only purebred Arabian race on the card, the opening seven-furlong handicap, proved a straightforward assignment for AF Kal Noor and Tadhg O’Shea, riding in the colours of his main employer, Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda and the owner’s principal trainer, Ernst Oertel.
O’Shea grabbed the initiative just after halfway, with his mount soon pulling clear of 10 toiling rivals to win easily. A homebred seven-year-old entire, the horse was winning his third race and for the first time since a victory in HH The Ruler Of Sharjah Cup just over two years ago.
More winners bred in Ireland
RACING has generally been low-key following Super Saturday at Meydan.
The concluding race at Abu Dhabi the following day was the only event for thoroughbreds on the card. The Irish-bred Leadership was reluctant to load, but then made every post a winning one under Bernardo Pinheiro for Ahmed Belqasem and trainer Helal Alalawi.
A five-year-old gelded son of Raven’s Pass, he was doubling his career tally by adding this victory to one he enjoyed over seven furlongs on the Jebel Ali dirt in December.
Racing at Al Ain last Friday saw another Irish-bred land the sole race for thoroughbreds. Sam Hitchcott excelled in the two-mile handicap, settling Meqdam in second before taking command four furlongs out to stay on strongly and land the spoils for Doug Watson and Musaab Mamoun Suleman El Maki.
A six-year-old Dubawi gelding, Hitchcott’s mount was winning for the third time, all in the UAE.
Peter and Hugh McCutcheon bred Still Thinking, the five-year-old son of Alhebayeb who won the only race for thoroughbreds on the Sharjah card on Sunday.
The 10-furlong handicap was turned into a procession by Ray Dawson on the winner, the pair storming clear leaving the home turn into the short straight for Ahmad bin Harmash and Abdul Ghalita Almheiri.
Still Thinking was having just his second start for current connections, and he also failed to win after nine starts in Ireland.
The final race in the capital Abu Dhabi was another for thoroughbreds, but this fell to a French-bred. The seven-furlong handicap was won by Jumaira Bay, a five-year-old Siyouni gelding, on his second local start since joining Doug Watson. Pats Dobbs was in the saddle for Al Kamda Racing.