Closeout for Sharjah Racecourse for the 2014-15 Racing Season
14 March 2015 Sharjah, UAE ~ Saturday’s final fixture of the season at Sharjah Racecourse was the biggest meeting of the season with the highlight the Aed150,000 Ruler Of Sharjah Trophy, a 1700m conditions contest carrying prestige status.
Abharr (AL NASR (FR) – ALIAA (FR) by Djelfor (FR) took this one for Team Al Asayl as Molahen El Alhan had done in 2014 in the same race.
The victory was not achieved without incident as the four-year-old, owned and bred by HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan making five wins from five starts, seemed determined to cross towards the standside rail at the top of the straight.
Luckily he was a long way clear at the time and, despite losing a lot of momentum, jockey Tadhg O’Shea, riding for trainer Salem Al Ketbi, was able to straighten him out and they won easily in the end.
“He is a very nice horse as we have always maintained and I rode him knowing he was the best horse in the race,” said O’Shea. “I was happy all the way round until he hung across the straight. It was his first run on dirt and left-handed which maybe had something to do with it, or may have just been idling as he was in front a long way. He ran on well once I straightened him and he could be a lovely horse next season.”
Zaffaan (BENGALI D’ALBRET (FR) x Kahina El Kihm (FR) by Djelfor )won the main support race, the Sharjah Marathon, a 2700m handicap and formerly the longest Purebred Arabian event in the UAE. (Al Ain held a 3000m contest last year and have raced over 3200m this year.)
Trained by Musabah Al Muhairi, he was sent to the front by Paul Hanagan, riding for his main employer, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, early in the straight after a tussle with Sheikh Hamdan’s Fantastique MHF but the pair were always in control.
“He has stayed the trip really well,” said Hanagan. “He was always travelling well within himself and did it nicely.”
The card opened with a 1200m maiden won, in the dying strides, by AZ Laheeb (Burning Sand (US) x ESHAGTANI (FR) by Bibi De Carrere), ridden by Shane Karlsson for trainer Saleha Al Ghurair her first winner of the season. Never far off the pace set by Bin Arar, this was that rival he denied close home with AZ Laheeb opening his account at the 15th attempt.
“He has shown plenty of speed throughout,” said Karlsson. “He really kept on strongly and we led where it mattered.”
Ameer Al Sraya (Makzan (FR) x Zahbolly DF (US) by By Golly (US), trained by Helal Al Alawi and ridden by Szczepan Mazur also caught the leaders close to home winning the 1700 handicap on dirt leaving second for Bedayer Al Asayl (AE) and third to Ma’Eror W’rsan (AE).
There can be no doubting the courage of the Doug Watson-trained Famous Warrior, the ultra game winner of the only Thoroughbred race on the card, a 2000m conditions contest. Owner Emirates Entertainment Racing Club (EERC) doubled their luck in the next race with Watson as stable jockey, Pat Dobbs, sent Kokomo (AL NASR (FR) x ORENDA (FR) by Dunixi) for home as the runners in a 1700m maiden turned into the straight, the pair kicking clear and leaving 11 rivals toiling. No contest to the winner, Bareez W’Rsan (AE) came in second and Banan Al Reef third.