Whistle springs a surprise in Al Ain Marathon feature
The First Leg of the Al Ain Marathon Series, a 3200m handicap, was the highlight of racing in Al Ain on Sunday, January 16, and won, unsurprisingly for Al Ajban Stables by Abdallah Al Hammadi.
However, the identity of the winner was arguably a surprise because the victorious Whistle (Thoroughbred x Lady Wish by Munjiz) probably appeared the least likely to land the prize from connections’ four runners.
However, as it transpired, he was literally left to fly the lime green flag alone with his trio of stable companions filling the last three places.
He posted a narrow success under Jesus Rosales with Rajee (Munjiz x Rakha by Mahabb), Asraa Min Al Talqa and Mujahid all finishing within two lengths as they crossed the line.
A 6yo entire son of the somewhat confusingly named Thoroughbred, was doubling his career tally on his 14th start, his previous victory registered on turf at Abu Dhabi, in a handicap over 2200m, last February.
In the Wathba Stallions Cup for Private Owners Only, a 1600m maiden kicked off proceedings and was won cosily by No Risk At All (No Risk Al Maury x Darifa by Majd Al Arab), ridden by Fernando Jara in the colours of Fatim Ahmad Rashad Manasara for Ahmed Al Mehairbi.
A 4yo filly having just her fourth start, she was a second ever UAE winner for her owner who has only had a few horses in training with 20 previous runners.
The following 1600m maiden for horses foaled in the UAE was turned into a procession by Shoaa’ (Munjiz x Shumoos by Djouras Tu), a spare ride for Dane O’Neill in the colours of Al Wathba Racing for Jean de Roualle.
With Adrie de Vries not riding, O’Neill picked up the ride on one of the easiest winners he is likely to ride all year, the pair coming home 13 lengths ahead of runner-up AF Hathrek (AF Sanadek x AF Hezma by AF Al Buraq), himself 16 lengths ahead of the remote third, Safir Al Thani (Majd Al Uraiq x AF Azmaah by Madour).
Homebred, the 4yo filly was having just her second start having finished a promising third on debut, over course and distance, six weeks ago.
The Al Asayl team was then celebrating after a maiden over 1800m, Muqtader (Seraphin Du Paon x Tornade Du Loup by Tornado De Syrah) delivering the goods under Richard Mullen for Salem Al Ketbi and Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The 6yo homebred gelding had previously raced on 13 occasions, eight on dirt, but was building on what was, arguably, his previous career best when runner-up over this course and distance last February.
For Ibrahim Al Hadhrami and The Omani Royal Cavalry, Antonio Fresu then partnered Mutaqadim (Azadi x Lilly Rock by Akbar) to score in a 2000m handicap.
Homebred, the 5yo, having just his seventh start, was doubling his career tally having previously won a 1400m on debut, here at Al Ain, in October 2020.
A 1400m handicap went to Hazeem Al Raed (TM Fred Texas x Karizma CS by Kador De Blaziet), partnered by Bernardo Pinheiro in the colours of Hassan Saleh Al Hammadi for trainer Ahmed Al Shemali.
After 12 starts, the 7yo entire has now won a third of them, adding this fourth success to a 1000m conditions race victory, here at Al Ain, on his previous outing, a maiden over that same course and distance and a handicap over Sunday’s track and trip almost a year ago.
The Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda, Tadhg O’Shea and Ernst Oertel trio rarely leave Al Ain empty handed and they landed the finale, a 1000m handicap, with AF Thayer (AF Alsalaam x Aberfeldy by Amer).
Source: Emirates Racing Authority
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