Al Asayl trio land double
22 January 2017, Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ Having succeeded in an Abu Dhabi treble last week, HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, his Al Asayl-based trainer, Eric Lemartinel and UAE Champion Jockey Tadhg O’Shea, landed a double at the capital’s track on Sunday evening, 22 January.
The evening’s highlight was the smooth success of Mahbooba (Bibi De Carrere) in the Purebred Arabian 2200m HH The President Cup Prep conditions race, but chased home by stable companion Abu Alabyad, the mount of Gerald Avranche.
Penalized at the weights and one of two mares among the dozen runners, Mahbooba has now suffered just one defeat after six career starts and looks a progressive and exciting young mare for her powerful connections.
“That is a great result for the team and we thought we had a decent chance but knew she had to build on what she had achieved so far,” said O’Shea. “And fair play to her, she has done that in good style and appears to be on the up so, with luck, will be a serious contender for the big race itself.”
The Al Asayl trio opened their account for the evening with the hard-fought victory of Deyaar (Abu Alemarat) narrowly prevailing in a 2200m conditions stakes restricted to mares, to record just her second career win, on her 11th career start.
Second to the aforementioned Mahbooba on her previous start over 1600m, the mare was ridden patiently by O’Shea before the pair challenged and led, halfway up the straight.
“They did not go particularly quickly which has helped her utilize her speed and she stayed the trip well enough,” said O’Shea. “It looked a good opportunity for her and she has taken full opportunity.”
Fourteen went to post for the opening 1600m conditions contest but very few were ever seen with a realistic chance and Fernand Jara was always prominent aboard Sarab Al Reef (Bibi De Carrere) trained by Abdallah Al Hammadi. Jara’s mount had won his previous start in a similar race back in early December and was able to repeat the trick here. Having led early on, then disputed or tracked the pace, Sarab Al Reef took a definite advantage about 300m from home and always looked in control.
“That was just his sixth career start and second win,” said Al Hammadi. “He is improving with experience and can hopefully continue to do so.”
Jara later completed a double when making all on AF Ssyaeb (AF Al Buraq) trained by Musabbeh Al Mheiri in the Dh 70,000Wathba Stud Farm Cup For Private Owners Only, a 1200m handicap. Twice a winner last season including over course and distance, he bounced back to winning ways after three fruitless runs this season and few of the field were ever seen with a winning chance.
AF Ssayeb is owned and bred by Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda who celebrated a memorable 1-2-3 with AF Mukhifah and AF Maher finishing second and third for Ernst Oertel who also saddled the fourth, Madjanthis.
Earlier the 1600m handicap panned out in pretty much the same fashion with only a handful of the 14 runners ever threatening to land a serious blow.
On this occasion victory went to the Mohd Ramadan-trained AF Al Mawhebah (Jinad(AE) that stalked early leader AF Hakeem before being asked to throw down a serious challenge by jockey, Chris Hayes.
They hit the front early in the straight and were never challenged with the mare making it two wins from just four career starts.
“It was a longer trip for her today and she stayed very well,” said Hayes. “I was always pretty confident and she has had a good look around suggesting she has more to offer with further experience.”
The ten runners for the 1400m Thoroughbred HH The President Cup Prep saw Ghaamer skipping clear leaving the home turn, but it was the Satish Seemar-trained Akeed Champion under Richard Mullen that eased alongside Ghaamer before quickening clear in the final 200m.