LAST Saturday’s final meeting of the Jebel Ali season featured the Jebel Ali Classic (Silver Jubilee), a seven-furlong conditions race that was dominated by champion-trainer elect Bhupat Seemar.
Tadhg O’Shea, in the silks of Mohammed Khameel Ahmed and Discovery Island led close home to deny stablemate Rodaini a repeat success in the race he landed 12 months ago. In a capacity field of 16, they both raced on the nearside rail, with those in the centre and on the far side struggling from a furlong out.
A five-year-old Godolphin-bred son of Dubawi, the winner started the season, his first with current connections, as a maiden and this was his third success. Seemar said: “We have always really liked this horse who was a maiden when we bought him and we are delighted to have won three times with him. Hopefully there is more to come.”
The 15 runners in a seven-furlong handicap were spread all over the track and it transpired the nearside was the place to be, Pat Dobbs and Winners Club prevailing for Doug Watson in the colours of Prince Sultan bin Mishal bin Abdulzaiz. They swept past eventual runner-up Tabarak inside the final half a furlong.
The winner, an American-bred five-year-old Bayern gelding, was doubling his win tally and opening his local account. Watson said: “He has been running well over various distances and he deserved to get his head in front having been so consistent.”
The multiple champion trainer Watson completed a rapid seven-furlong double, this time combining with Sam Hichcott who was aboard Raneen for Ali Salman Hassan Mohd Aslaabri in the main support race on the card, a conditions contest for three-year-old fillies, denying Dobbs and stable companion Minwah.
The Ballinafad Stud-bred Ribchester filly was losing her maiden tag at the eighth attempt and making it third time lucky here in the UAE, having had five outings in Britain for Richard Fahey. Watson said: “We gave this filly plenty of time and I was impressed with that. I imagine she will go back to England now, as will Minwah who has also run very well.”
The opening seven-furlong maiden for three-year-olds colts and geldings provided Jumaa Mubarak Al Junaibi’s Street Mood the ideal opportunity to open his account at the sixth attempt, Antonio Fresu in the saddle for Musabbeh Al Mheiri. Having just his second start for Al Mheiri, the son of Street Boss was having his first start up the Jebel Ali hill and clearly relished it.
Nearer last than first of the nine runners early on, he started to make progress soon after halfway before staying on strongly inside the final furlong to deny Muqatel who had led from the outset.
The five-furlong handicap was dominated by Balletomane who was never headed under Bernardo Pinheiro for the Bouresly Racing Syndicate and Rashed Bouresly. The winner drifted across from stall seven in a race contested by a capacity field of 16. The seven-year-old entire son of Exceed And Excel was tasting success for the third time, and his second in the UAE. Pinheiro said: “That is the first time I have ridden him but I knew he was quick as I have raced against him. He did it nicely.”
The concluding nine-furlong handicap was won by a maiden, Ghost On The Mambo, completing doubles on the card for Pinheiro, Seemar and Prince Sultan bin Mishal bin Abdulzaiz. It was a 12th career start for the winner who was bred at Pin Oak Stud and is a five-year-old son of Ghostzapper. He had been placed in a maiden at the track five days earlier.
Only one of the 13 runners mattered in the near 10-furlong handicap once Quip, hard ridden to lead by Xavier Ziani, was able to dictate matters for Salem bin Ghadayer and new owner Adelresort. The pair skipped clear entering the long straight and it was clear with a furlong and a half remaining they were not going to be caught. A seven-year-old Distorted Humor gelding, Quip was winning for the fifth time and the first since a pair of American Grade 2 victories in the spring of 2018.
Fresu’s listed win is one of a brace
SUNDAY’S penultimate, and one of the best, fixture of Abu Dhabi’s entire season was highlighted by the purebred Arabian Group 1 Emirates Championship, while the thoroughbred equivalent, the 11-furong Listed Abu Dhabi Championship, looked set for a time to be a landmark occasion.
That was when Uruguay’s Ajuste Fiscal shot clear at the top of the straight only to tire in the final stages and get picked off by Naser Askar’s Law Of Peace, saddled by Bhupat Seemar and completing a double on the card for Antonio Fresu.
It was a fourth victory this year and third consecutive success for the five-year-old Godolphin-bred Shamardal gelding, immediately following a pair of Meydan wins over a mile, the first on dirt and more recently on turf.
Two days earlier, at Al Ain, the sole race for thoroughbreds was a seven-furlong handicap on dirt. The Colm McEvoy-bred six-year-old Society Rock gelding Quiet Endeavour recorded his first success in the UAE, and his fifth in all, with this comfortable win.