6 December 2019, Al Ain, UAE ~ The featured 1400m handicap at Al Ain on Friday was won Friday, 6 December 2019 by the exciting Jayide Al Boraq for trainer Khalifa Al Neyadi, owner Al Rahmani Racing and jockey Bernardo Pinheiro who has ridden him on each of his four outings.
A 5-year-old entire by Burning Sand, he has only raced at Al Ain, making a winning debut in March over 1600m before disappointing three weeks later in a handicap over 1800m. A fortnight ago he made a successful seasonal reappearance, in a handicap over 1000m and arguably bettered that on this occasion under a polished ride from Pinheiro. The pair settled just in behind the early speed, the jockey always looking confident and traveling strongly, before the Brazilian eased his mount to the front about 450m from home and they powered clear, soon opening up a gap that was never going to be breached.
Al Neyadi said: “We have to be very pleased with that and this is a horse we have always really liked. We will have to try and find another suitable opportunity for him and he is a pleasure to train because he is so versatile.”
Pinheiro added: “This horse has plenty of natural speed, but stays 1600m, so I was happy to commit for home a long way out and he responded with a good turn of foot and then has run on strongly all the way to the line.”
The meeting kicked off with a 2000m handicap for horses in private ownership with Al Yamamah Mleeh landing the spoils for Ali Rashid Al Rayhi. Confidently ridden by Fernando Jara, sporting the silks of Butti Ghemran Al Qubaisi who also bred the 5-year-old mare, she was settled in midfield before being driven to the front with about 250m remaining and was always holding off the late challenge of AF Seven Skies. It was a second career success for the winner who lost her maiden tag in a maiden over 1800m here at Al Ain in February and her owner was on hand to greet his mare.
“She obviously likes here at Al Ain,” Al Qubaisi said. “She ran very well at Sharjah on her penultimate start and it is nice to see her win again.”
Antimo proved far too good for his 12 rivals in the only Thoroughbred race on the card, a 2000m maiden, sweeping past Wings Of Gold passing the 200m pole and running on strongly to open his account at the seventh attempt. It was a first winner of the season for trainer Ahmed Al Shemaili and the 6-year-old gelded son of Dubawi was going one place better than he had in a course maiden over 1800m a fortnight ago.
A maiden over 1800m, restricted to horses foaled locally, was won stylishly by Tarras on just his third career start and second locally, both here at Al Ain where he is trained by Jean de Roualle for Yas Horse Racing Management. Homebred, the 4-year-old stalked early leader AF Heraqle and, from just after halfway, it was apparent no other runner was likely to be able to throw down a challenge, Noel Garbutt, who was deputising for an injured Richard Mullen, driving his mount to the front with 300m remaining to post a relatively comfortable victory.
De Roualle said: “That was very pleasing because he is still a big baby this horse and very green which is why he wears the cheekpieces. It was just his third start and we think he will be a nice horse as he develops physically and matures mentally.
“He handles this surface well enough, but is going to be a better horse when we can get him on turf.”
Owner and trainer then combined to land a quick double with an impressive winning debut from Harwal in a second maiden over the 1800m with Fresu the man in the saddle in place of the unfortunate Mullen. A homebred 4-year-old, he clearly knew his job on this first racecourse appearance with Fresu able to settle him in fourth before asking to close and challenge leaving the home turn. Seemingly slightly outpaced for a moment, Fresu’s mount picked up smartly to hit the front fully 400m out and the race was in safekeeping throughout the final 200m.
De Roualle said: “That was a very pleasing debut from a nice young horse who, you would think, is only going to improve with time and experience. I am lucky to have these nice horses to train and it has been a good evening so far.”
It was then Fernando Jara’s turn to complete a double, landing a 1600m maiden for 3-year-olds only aboard JAP Al Kahf for Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum who also bred the striking grey who was having just his second career outing for trainer Irfan Ellahi. Sixth, when running on late under Jara over 1000m at Sharjah on his debut at the beginning of November, he clearly learned plenty that day and seemingly relished this extra distance, staying on strongly having hit the front early in the long straight.
Ellahi said: “We were pleased enough with his debut and were hopeful coming here that the 1600m would suit him and it has. Hopefully he is going to be a nice horse for us.”
Jara added: “He has shown a really good, battling, attitude there and answered every time I asked him for more effort.”
The finale, a 1000m maiden, produced the most exciting finish on the card with AF Taghzel and Tadhg O’Shea clinging on by a flared nostril to deny SS Rabeh who was finishing fast under Szczepan Mazur. Homebred by Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda, the winner, a 4-year-old filly saddled by Ernst Oertel, was having her sixth career start.