Déjà vu as AF Maqam retains his cup crown

Sunday was Sharjah’s final fixture of the current campaign, highlighted by a Prestige contest, the 1700m HH The Ruler of Sharjah Cup, and AF Maqam repeated his victory of 12 months ago, the homebred 5yo entire again landing the prize under Tadhg O’Shea for Ernst Oertel and Khalid Khlaifa Al Nabooda, completing a double on the card for owner and trainer.

A 1000m handicap was pretty much dominated from the outset by AF Qadeh, positively ridden by apprentice Marelino Rodrigues for Oertel and Al Nabooda.

Always in front on his side of the track, the 5yo homebred entire stamped his authority on proceedings entering the final 300m, shedding his maiden tag at the fourth attempt.

The Sharjah Marathon, a 2700m handicap, was won decisively by Kadar, Richard Mullen aboard for Sheikha Alyazia bint Sultan Al Nahyan and Salem Al Ketbi.

The 5yo gelding was eased into contention by his jockey before taking control over the final 100m.

The meeting kicked off with a 1200m for 4yos foaled in the UAE and the maiden went to Azzouz, Ray Dawson in the saddle for Jaber Bittar & Al Reef Stables, the pair never far off the speed in a race the 16 runners divided across the track.

However, it was clear that Dawson’s mount, making it third time lucky, was in control entering the final 175m.

A 2000m handicap for horses foaled in the UAE was won by Mutef Jr W’Rsan, Sam Hitchcott in the saddle for Jaci Wickham in the colours of Sheikh Hazza bin Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Settled in midfield throughout the early stages of the race, the 7yo entire eased into contention entering the short straight and was never going to be headed once in front entering the final 200m.

The only Thoroughbred contest on the card and final race of the Sharjah season, a 2000m handicap, was a thriller, Dubai Vision and Ray Dawson ultimately landing the spoils for Ahmad bin Harmash.