Fresu Al Ain treble highlighted by featured Derby success

Friday’s Al Ain card, seven races all for Purebred Arabians, was highlighted by the eighth running of the 1800m Al Ain Derby, a Prestige contest for 4yos foaled in the UAE and the unbeaten Fadwaan maintained his faultless record in style.

Saddled by Ahmed Al Mehairbi and partnered by Antonio Fresu, the colt has now won all four career starts, each time under the Italian jockey, twice over this course after a 1600m debut success, sandwiched between his other two victories, both at Prestige level, over 1400m and then 1600m, on the Abu Dhabi turf.

The winning duo basically had this race in safekeeping fully 375m from home when they started to pull clear of five toiling rivals to win easily.

The trainer was celebrating a double after a 1600m maiden, Fernando Jara and Surf Al Maury delivering the goods for Khadim bin Hamed bin Khadim bin Butti Alhamid, the 4yo colt making it third time lucky, he and Jara finishing runner-up on both previous outings, over 1400m then 2000m, here at Al Ain.

A decent quality 1600m handicap was dominated in taking fashion by Jazeelah, always in the first three and completing a treble on the card for Fresu and a double for Musabbeh Al Mheiri, this one for owner Khalfan Hamad Al Qubaisi.

Once Fresu sent the Shadwell-bred 5yo for home entering the long straight the result was never really in doubt, the mare doubling her career haul in the process, adding this success to a course and distance maiden victory on her penultimate start.

The following lesser 1600m handicap proved less competitive than it appeared on paper; 6yo mare Noor Jalan, ridden by Jesus Rosales for doubling her career tally in the process and that of trainer Khalifa Al Mazrouei who also owns her.

The meeting kicked off with a 2000m maiden, victory snatched in the dying stages by Oboe, delivered with perfect timing by Gabriele Malune in the colours of Al Ajban Stables for their principal trainer Abdallah Al Hammadi.
The gelded 6yo was opening his account at the sixth attempt.

For horses in private ownership, a handicap over 1800m was grabbed in the closing stages by Al Murtajel, delivered fast and late by Fresu, in the silks of Musabbeh Khamis Musabah Al Mheiri to win going away for trainer Al Mheiri.

The 6yo entire was winning for the second time after 14 starts.

The finale, a 1400m maiden for horses foaled locally, was contested by a capacity field of 15 but only one ever mattered; Bashasha Al Reef, another winning at the third time of asking, sent straight to the front by Tadhg O’Shea and the pair just pulling further clear throughout the final 275m.

Trained by Jaber Bittar, the 4yo colt was making his dirt debut and clearly relished the switch of surface. He runs in the colours of Salem Rashed Al Neyadi, carried to victory for the very first time.