Doubles for Fresu and Al Hadhrami in Abu Dhabi

Celestial Spheres ridden by Gary Sanchez


Racing in Abu Dhabi on Monday, January 17, was arguably highlighted by the finale and only Thoroughbred race on the card, a 2400m handicap, run at a frantic gallop which ultimately suited Celestial Spheres (Redoute's Choice x Copernica by Galileo).

He was settled in third, at the head of the main pack, with Autumn Pride and Terrain (Teofilo x Rahiyah by Rahy) locking horns out in front until the latter waved the white flag with about 1100m remaining.

Autumn Pride kept going though and was only caught by the winner in the final 300m but galloped on gamely to hold second.

A belated first winner of the season, who had only saddled 16 previous runners this campaign, it was a second for apprentice Gary Sanchez and maiden UAE success for the silks of Millennium Stables, Mohammed’s Meydan base.

A gelded 8yo son of Redoute’s Choice, it was a fifth career success for the horse who won four times in Britain for Godolphin and Charlie Appleby, most recently in late January 2028.

Sanchez said: “They went very quick which has played into my hands because this horse stays so well and I was always happy racing alone in third before challenging. When I asked him he responded well and ha swon fairly comfortably.”

Farasah ridden by Antonio Fresu


For mares only, the opening 1600m conditions contest was won stylishly by local debutante Farasah (Mahabb x Ranya Du Croate by Dormane), Antonio Fresu sporting the distinctive yellow and green silks of Naser Askar for Musabbeh Al Mheiri.

The 5yo was doubling her career tally after four starts for her breeder, Shadwell Estate, in Britain, winning at the first time of asking in a 1400m maiden on the all-weather at Wolverhampton last April.

Initially settled in fourth, Fresu had his mount in second entering the final turn before committing for home passing the 400m pole, a race winning move as they never looked in danger of being caught afterwards.

SSR Ghazwuan ridden by Antonio Fresu


Fresu was celebrating a double after the following 1400m maiden, combining this time with Ibrahim Al Hadhrami who saddled the impressive SSR Ghazwan (Wahchey x Aswaar by Prince D'Orient) for Salim Said Hamad Alrushaidi.

Runner-up in a maiden over 1200m on the dirt in Muscat on his debut almost exactly a year ago, the homebred 4yo colt was then fourth on his only subsequent appearance, in a similar race at Al Ain, over 1600m, at the beginning of December.

It was a first local success for his owner with the only horse he has campaigned thus far in the UAE.

Astral Del Sol ridden by Sean Kirrane


In the Wathba Stallions Cup for Private Owners Only, a 1400m handicap was won in a thrilling finish by Astral Del Sol (Hilal Al Zaman x A l'envolee Del Sol by Kesberoy), completing a double for Al Hadhrami with apprentice Sean Kirrane in the saddle for Ali Haddad.

Wide throughout, Kirrane made rapid progress leaving the back straight before driving the 5yo entire to the front entering the final 200m but they only just held on from Shafaf (TH Richie x Almase by Al Nasr) who flew home just too late to snatch victory.

It was a third career victory for the horse but first locally on his eighth UAE outing.

Kirrane said: “A big thank you to connections for the chance. I was drawn wide which was not ideal and then could not get across so was poorly positioned early on but they went a nice pace and we enjoyed a nice lear run which was ideal.”

Toumadher ridden by Sane O'Neil


Restricted to horses foaled in the UAE, a 2200m maiden provided Toumadher (Shadiyda x Tidjalla by Nez D'Or) the perfect opportunity, after 14 previous attempts, to finally open his account, Dane O’Neill riding in the Al Reef Stables’ silks for Jaber Bittar.

The race appeared to be contested at a generous gallop with those who initially raced prominently weakening out of contention.

O’Neill had his mount, a 7yo entire, settled well off the pace before edging closer on the home turn. Once in the straight, they quickened to the front with about 275 remaining with the race soon is safekeeping.

O’Neill said: “The horse has lost his way somewhat but had some decent form in the past so it is nice he has bounced back to something like his best. Now he has won it should help his confidence and perhaps he can build on this.”

AF Mukhrej ridden by Tadhg O'Shea


Riding for his main employer Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda and the owner’s principal trainer, Ernst Oertel, Tadhg O’Shea found a very resolute partner in AF Mukhrej (AF Al Buraq x Warda Al Maury by Kudor) in a 2200m handicap, the pair seemingly headed 200m out by Wakeel W’Rsan (Nitagor x Wadouda W'Rsan by Heir Apparentt) but battling back to regain the initiative where it mattered.

Despite missing the break slightly, the pair was soon in front and seemingly allowed to set a modest tempo before quickening entering the final 500m.

That accounted for most of their eight opponents before the runner-up loomed large to challenge but O’Shea rousted his mount to snatch back the prize close home. It was a second win for the 6yo homebred entire that lost his maiden tag over 2000m on his previous start in early December.

O’Shea said: “He has now won on dirt and turf so has proved his versatility and as he has shown with both wins he has a great attitude. Hopefully there is more to come because he could be a nice little horse.”

Source: Emirates Racing Authority

Welcome to Arabian Horse Intl Flat Racing / Endurance!
We hope you enjoy it and have a Good Reading!

The Arabian Horse Intl Endurance and Arabian Horse Intl Flat Racing
is a website magazine in which the articles
are diagrammed in magazine form for free download,
available worldwide to Endurance and Arabian racing professionals
and enthusiasts and back editions are available.

Follow us at:

© Arabian Horse Intl All Rights Reserved