Trainer Al Alawi wins two races in a roll
Racing at Al Ain on Saturday, December 5, was highlighted by a 1000m handicap in which eight went to post, but very few ever mattered with Ghazwan Al Khalediah (Jalood Al Khalidiah x Loubna Bouznika by Bartaba) seemingly in control virtually throughout under French apprentice Hugo Lebouc, doubling his UAE tallies in the process in this his first local campaign.
On paper, the race had appeared a match between the winner and fellow top weight Cakouet De Bozouls, but when the latter, likely to have been his main rival, was badly buffeted as the stalls opened, losing any chance, the task became a lot more straightforward and Lebouc’s mount took full advantage.
Trained locally by Helal Al Alawi for Abu Dhabi Racing, the 8-year-old entire, on just his tenth start, was winning for the fourth time, but first since registering his second victory over this Al Ain 1000m in March 2019. His 1400m maiden victory was also on his local track, on a belated debut in November 2018.
This was by far the easiest task he had faced since that victory last March and Al Alawi explained: “He is a horse we have always liked, but had to be very patient with. Obviously he loves this Al Ain surface and he has so much natural pace the 1000m really suits him.”
An hour later the trainer was celebrating another easy victory, this time combining with Pat Cosgrave who was aboard Dinar Al Khalediah (Tornado De Syrah x Shagraa El Biwaibiya by Tiwaiq) in a 1400m maiden, the horse able to make it third time lucky having not made his belated debut until the end of October. Previously sixth and fourth, well beaten both times, in 1600m Al Ain maidens, the 9-year-old entire raced in third before Patrick Cosgrave sent him for home about 550m out, the pair powering home to win comfortably in the colours of National Stables, the Al Ain base from which Al Alawi trains.
Cosgrave said: “I was fourth on him the last day, a fortnight ago and he has clearly improved with each run. He did that well today.”
The meeting kicked off with a 1000m maiden for horses in private ownership which attracted the maximum allowed field of 15, but was totally dominated by Hazeem Al Raed (TM Fred Texas x Karizma CS by Kador de Blaziet). In front after a handful of strides, the 5-year-old entire was clear at halfway under Antonio Fresu who was able to allow his mount to coast home to record a clear cut victory.
The drop to the minimum trip and the addition of a visor for the first time clearly suited him on his fifth start, providing trainer Ahmed Al Shemaili a career best third winner of the season. It was a second victory of the campaign to sport the predominantly green silks of owner Hassan Saleh Al Hammadi who also trained this horse for his first career start.
Fresu said: “That was pretty comfortable. He broke ok, but was soon into stride and showed plenty of speed to win in style.”
The sole Thoroughbred contest, a 1600m handicap, was another contested by the maximum of 15, but as it transpired, 14 may as well have stayed in their stable; Sandro Paiva was clear on Faith And Fortune (Cityscape x Fortune In Faith by Grand Slam) at halfway and the pair remained a long way ahead of 14 toiling rivals. From nine starts locally, the 5-year-old Cityscape gelding had mustered a third, on his previous start over 1200m at Jebel Ali just last Friday, but had won twice on dirt in his native Argentina. He actually arrived in the UAE for the 2019 Dubai World Cup Carnival with South African Mike de Kock before switching to Satish Seemar, running twice for each of them. This was his sixth start for Ali Rashid Al Rayhi.
Paiva said: “The plan was to be positive as he had run well under similar tactics in both starts this season and has really enjoyed himself bowling along out in front.”
Making every post a winning one was becoming a recurring theme and Bernardo Pinheiro was the next jockey to do so when never headed in a 1600m maiden, restricted to 3-year-olds, aboard Only Smoke (Valiant Boy x RB Burn Baby Burn by TH Richie). Riding in the lime green silks of Al Ajban Stables, the winner is trained by Abdallah Al Hammadi and was having just his second career start after a promising third behind stable companion Oss in a 1600m course maiden a fortnight ago.
Pinheiro said: “I rode him when he ran well on debut behind a good horse from the same connections. He learned plenty then and I was never concerned this evening because he was always galloping strongly.”
A 1600m handicap provided another fairly comprehensive winner, on this occasion AF Ramz (Al Kesbe x Obayya Al Faisal by Zefiro de Nulvi) and Omani apprentice Saif Al Balushi, having initially raced in fourth, sweeping to the front having just entered the long straight and the pair staying on strongly. Trained by Khalifa Al Neyadi for Mohd Salem Ali Alafreet, the 6-year-old entire was registering a third career success and is now thrice an Al Ain winner.
The meeting reverted to type in the concluding 2000m maiden, for horses foaled in the UAE, with Tadhg O’Shea never headed astride a determined steed in AF Mass (AF Maqam Alezz x AF Majidah by Martin Al Maury) on whom he was pushing and shoving fully 700m out, but finding a very willing partner. Riding for his main employer, Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda and the owner’s principal trainer Ernst Oertel, the winner was representing the same connections as Friday’s Purebred Arabian National Day hero, AF Alwajel.
Like the vast majority of the Al Nabooda runners a homebred, the 4-year-old colt was another shedding his maiden status at the third attempt, in his case having never threatened over 2000m at Sharjah on his seasonal return at the end of October. Interestingly though, he was considered worthy of a place in the 1800m Al Ain Derby for his debut in March when unable to muster a challenge.
Oertel said: “He is a nice horse, but one we have had to be patient with. Hopefully he can build on this.”
O’Shea added: “All credit to the horse there because he has had to find plenty for me, but in fairness, just kept on galloping and was going away from the rest at the finish.”
Source and Photos: Emirates Racing Authority
Welcome to Arabian Horse Intl Endurance / Flat Racing!
We hope you enjoy it and have a Good Reading!