AF Alwajel won impressively confidently
ridden by Tadhg O’Shea

Af Alwajel ridden by Tadhg O’Shea


The main support race, one of four on the card over 1600m, was the Group 3 Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan National Day Cup, at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, December 4, was won impressively by AF Alwajel (AF Al Buraq x Samira De Carrere by Djouras Tu) confidently ridden by Tadhg O’Shea in the colours of his main employer, Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda for the owner’s principal trainer Ernst Oertel.

Several of the 15 runners threatened at some stage in the straight, but once O’Shea pressed go on the winner, they dashed to the front with about 250m remaining and never looked in any danger. The 5-year-old homebred entire shrugging off a penalty and making it win number five on just his tenth start. He earned his penalty with success in the 1400m Liwa Oasis on his previous visit to the capital, at the beginning of March.

Al Nabooda said: “As an Emirati owner and breeder this is one race I have always wanted to win. Now I have and I am so proud.”

O’Shea added: “What a horse, what a trainer. It is a great result for everyone, especially the owner and this horse had quite a hard race on dirt at Meydan just a fortnight ago, so a lot of credit has to go to Ernst and his team for bringing him here in such great shape.”

The jockey Ryan Curatolo completed a double – the first was with Boerhan in the Thoroughbred race over 1600m – landing a 1400m handicap aboard Harrab (Mahabb x Habaib by Al Sakbe) for Jean de Roualle and Yas Racing, the pair hitting the front inside the final 300m before scoring comfortably.

Harrab ridden by Ryan Curatolo


Restricted to 3-year-olds, the opening 1600m HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Racing Festival Purebred Arabian Cup, a conditions contest, was won stylishly by Hameen (Valiant Boy x RB Burn Baby Burn by TH Richie ), who shot clear in the final 200m under Adrie de Vries.
After a tardy start, the colt raced in about tenth of the 13 runners before making good progress on the home turn when briefly short of room. Once De Vries found racing room, his mount quickened to the front and had the race in safekeeping as soon as he hit the front. Saddled by Abdallah Al Hammadi for his main patron, Al Ajban Stables, the colt had won his only previous start, a 1600m maiden on the dirt at Al Ain, five weeks ago. He was chased home by stable companion and the same owner’s Ottoman to complete a memorable result for connections.

Hameen ridden by Adrie de Vries


De Vries said: “We did not break too well, so I had to niggle him early on, but he is a bonny little horse who carried me into the race strongly. “I had to wait for a gap, but when it appeared he picked up very nicely and was a good performance.”

AF Alareeq ridden by Connor Beasley


Connor Beasley was also reunited with an old friend to land the concluding 1400m handicap for horses in private ownership, producing AF Alareeq (Al Kesbe x Balerina by Djel Bon) to lead in the closing stages. The pair landed a 1600m maiden in the capital in March for trainer Ahmed Al Mehairbi and owner Saif Asheer Ali Sulaiman Al Mazrouei.

Source: Emirates Racing Authority with inputs of Cidinha Franzão / Image Credit: Shamela Hanley Photos

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