Saturday December 15, 2012, UAE Press Release~Tony Manuel is a trainer who does particularly well at Sharjah and saddled his fourth and fifth winners of the season on the track on Saturday (December 15) afternoon.
One of those was Knife who won the featured 1700m conditions race, making all under Ahmed Ajtebi.
It was a fifth course and distance victory for the seven-year-old and Manuel was delighted.
“He just loves it here and when he gets out in front like that he does not like to be passed – he gives everything and tries so hard. It was a good effort from horse and jockey,” he said.
“He won at Jebel Ali last season as well and has been a great horse to have in the yard.”
Earlier stable companion Tahdeed made a very pleasing winning debut in the opening 1200m maiden. Settled in midfield by Richard Mullen, Tahdeed made good ground to lead 300m out and Mullen said: “That was a nice effort and he picked up well. I am not sure how good a race it was but he won like a nice prospect.”
Course and distance specialist Bin Shamardal landed the only Thoroughbred race on the card at Sharjah on Saturday afternoon, winning for a third time over 2000m on the track.
Trained by Musabah Al Muhairi, the five-year-old was given a very confident ride by former Champion Jockey Wayne Smith who took up the running at about halfway before committing his mount for home rounding the final bend. That proved a race winning move and the pair always looked like holding the late challenge of Uptown Guy.
“He just seems to love it here,” Al Muhairi told Sharjah TV. “He seems a different horse on this dirt track although he has run well at Meydan in the past without getting his head in front. His next run will probably be there or perhaps Jebel Ali.”
Jockey Adrie De Vries opened his account for the season when making virtually all on Abu Al Maarek, trained by Jaber Bittar for whom he was a third course winner this season. Tailed off on his sole previous start, on the Abu Dhabi turf, the winner was quickly away and hardly saw another rival, despite wandering markedly across the track.
De Vries said: “Obviously it is nice to get that first winner of the season and he will improve from that as he was still very green.”
Arguably the easiest winners of the afternoon came in consecutive 1700m maidens. First up was King Sakbe who made most of the running under Paul Hanagan to provide trainer Gill Duffield with her first winner of the season. Hanagan said: “He has taken advantage of a drop in class after a good run here last time in a better race. We were always pretty much in control.”
The following race was won by AF Kamash who shot clear 400m out under Xavier Ziani to provide his trainer, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami, with his very first winner at the 27th attempt. Ziani said: “I was always going well and he really quickened nicely.”