Nizam Al Gharbia piloted by Adrie De Vries charges to Wathba Stud Farm Cup victory
5 January 2015, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Abu Dhabi ~ The 1600m first round of the Listed Purebred Arabian Triple Crown was won by the Al Asayl team’s Abhaar (AL NASR (FR) x ALIAA (FR) by Djelfor) at Abu Dhabi’s opening meeting of the New Year on Sunday evening, 4 December.It was Adrie De Vries in the saddle and not stable jockey Tadhg O’Shea aboard the winner after O’Shea elected to ride RB Torch, runner-up.
Both runners were making excellent second career starts having won their one and only previous outing.
“I knew I was picking up a great spare ride,” said winning jockey Adrie De Vries. “Any horse from the Al Asayl yard has to be respected and this horse just proved that.
The day was not without incident after Jesus Rosales, Jose Santiago, Harry Bentley and Noel Garbutt were unseated during the running of the Arabian Triple Crown.
O’Shea may have been out of luck on this occasion but he was in the right place earlier on Shaheer (ABU ALEMARAT (FR) – JAMEELA (FR) by Tidjani), the comfortable winner of the opening 1600m maiden. Like Abhaar and RB Torch, Shaheer is now trained by Salem Al Ketbi.
“He is a nice horse,” said O’Shea. “This is his local debut but his form in France indicated he was more than useful. He is one we have been looking forward to running.”
Trainer Jaber Bittar also saddled a 1-2 with Ameer Al Reef (Bibi De Carrere (FR) x ASHAAYA D’AROCO (FR) by Dormane) and Jesus Rosales denying stable companion, Sharaf Al Reef and Richard Mullen in a 1400m handicap.
Pat Dobbs has been riding at the very top of his form recently and was aboard Haanoof (QUAZAR (FR) x Shamayl (FR) by Kesberoy), winner of a 2200m handicap for trainer Yousef Al Bloushi.
Nizam Al Gharbia under leading jockey Silvestre De Sousa did well to stave off a strong challenge from Masharef under Adrie De Vries and prevailed by a neck on the line in the seventh round of the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival’s Wathba Stud Farm Cup race at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club here on Sunday.
“It’s a great ride by De Sousa,” said a jubilant trainer Jameel Salman later. “I was on my feet when I saw Masharef charging down in the concluding stages of the race, but the Latin American fought back courageously and Nizam Al Gharbia responded to finish a good job with a win,” he said.
The four-year-old homebred son of Nizam out of Hadia De Faust by Dormane had a good start to the New Year after claiming his second success of the season in four starts.
“He’s a consistent performer who has won two of his four outings in 2014/ 2015 season and was not disregarded in defeat when close fourth in the Abu Dhabi Colts Classic ‘Prestige’ over a mile at the same venue a couple of weeks ago,” the Ajiyad Stables’ handler said.
Adnan Sultan Al Nuaimi, director general of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and Ms Lara Sawaya, Executive Director of the HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival, Chairman of the Int’l Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA), Chairman of Ladies & Apprentice Racing Committee in the Int’l Federation of Arabian Horse Racing Authorities (IFAHR) presented the prizes and trophies to the winning owner, breeder, trainer and jockey.
The only Thoroughbred race on the card, a 2400m handicap, went the way of Ukranian ridden by Royston Ffrench for his main employer, Ali Rashid Al Raihe.