Dawson celebrates UAE return with Sharjah feature race victory

Sunday’s fixture at Sharjah Longines Racecourse was officially highlighted by the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Cup, a 1200m handicap with Prestige status and restricted to horses foaled in the UAE, won by JAP Aneed.

Ray Dawson, returning to the saddle for the first time this year on the card, was aboard for Irfan Ellahi and Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum who also bred the 6yo entire.

Dawson was contest to chase Tadhg O’Shea and AF Thayer throughout the first half of the race before asking his mount to challenge. After a brief duel for the lead, Dawson’s mount was soon on top and stayed on well to land the spoils.

The horse has now landed three of just eight starts and arrived here on the back of a 1000m handicap success at Al Ain a month ago when partnered by Dawson for the first time.

Ellahi said: “He won well at Al Ain last time so we knew he was in good form but this was a much better race so we have to be delighted.
“He has a lot of speed so I imagine we will stock to the sprints, be it on dirt or turf because he did win his debut on grass at Abu Dhabi.”

All five Purebred Arabian contests were actually restricted to horses born locally, including the Emirates Breeders Trophy, a 1700m conditions race in which class prevailed with Elise Jeanne’s stable star, MH Rahal, officially rated far superior to his eight rivals, duly getting the job done under Richard Mullen, sporting the silks of Mansoor Khalifa Sultan bin Habtoor.

The homebred 8yo entire has now won on four occasions and twice this season having scored over 1000m at Al Ain at the beginning of November. He may not have name victories to his name but has, on the whole, been campaigned in top company, rarely running a bad race.

He actually won his maiden, over 1200m, here at Sharjah in November 2017 and perhaps found the 1700m enough of a stamina test because, having passed early leader Fandim early in the straight, he had to dig deep to deny a renewed challenge from that determined rival.

Jeanne said: “He is such a great horse to be associated with and never lets us down. We know he likes Sharjah and Richard gets on well with him so we were very hopeful and he has not disappointed.”

The opening 1200m handicap proved a relatively straightforward task for SS Jalmod, always prominent on the nearside under Antonio Fresu before taking the overall lead about 400m out and with the race in the bag entering the final 150m.
Ibrahim Al Hadhrami saddled the winner for Ahmed Mubarak Khamis Mohammed Al Breiki for whom it was a first ever winner with just his sixth runner.

A 1000m maiden for 4yos was won stylishly by debutante Ghallieah, always in the first two under Sebastien Martino, riding his maiden UAE winner in his first season, for Al Wathba Racing and Jean-Claude Pecout.

In front soon after halfway, the homebred filly shot clear in the final 300m to make an impressive start to her career, chased home by the same owner’s Barjah who was third over the same course and distance on his only previous start ten weeks ago.

Following a double at Al Ain yesterday, Khalifa Al Neyadi continued his good weekend by saddling Inthar, who he also owns, to victory in the 1700m handicap, Omani apprentice Saif Al Balushi performing the steering.

A veteran 12yo entire, the horse was winning for the fifth time and has now raced on 60 occasions but is clearly enjoying remaining in action because he had to work had for this in a competitive race.

Settled just behind the leaders, he was rushed to the front entering the home straight and then galloped on resolutely, always seemingly holding the late challenge of AF Al Motamen.

The only Thoroughbred contest was the concluding 1200m handicap, totally dominated by the trio of runners representing Shadwell, Edaraat powering home to land the spoils from the same owner’s Al Hadeer and Mujeeb.
Antonio Fresu partnered the winner for his main local employer, Musabbeh Al Mheiri.