Gold Silver lands feature for Ziad Galadari after Fresu & Al Hadhrami record Al Ain doubles

Friday’s third meeting of the new season at Al Ain was highlighted by a 1400m handicap, the final of the seven races and won in gritty fashion by Gold Silver who responded to the urgings of Sandro Paiva to hold off the challenge of Heros de Lagarde.

The latter was a persistent challenger throughout the final 300m after Paiva’s mount hit the front but never really looked likely to get past the determined winners, trained at Sharjah by Ibrahim Aseel for Ziad Galadari.

By clinging on grimly, Galadari’s entire 5yo denied both jockey Antonio Fresu and trainer Ibrahim Al Hadhrami a treble, in doing so, registering a third career success after a dozen starts.

His previous two victories were in a 1000m maiden here at Al Ain, on just his second start, in January 2020 and six weeks later in a 1200m Sharjah handicap.

For horses in private ownership, the curtain raiser, a 2000m handicap, produced a thrilling finish with AF Mahzamy able to fight off Hamaan Al Jasra but then denied in the final strides by Dream De Montjoi, delivered with a perfectly timed challenge by Antonio Fresu in the colours of Naser Askar for Musabbeh Al Mheiri.

A gelded 8yo, the winner was registering a third career victory and second at both the trip and here in Al Ain. He lost his maiden tag at Sharjah over 2000m in November 2017 and won a handicap here in Al Ain over 1800m in March 2020.

Ten went to post for the only Thoroughbred race on the card, a 2000m maiden in which half of the field held every chance entering the final 100m before Ray Dawson, sporting the silks of Khalifa Saif Rashed Al Maqoodi, delivered Anizzah to snatch victory, the pair leading in the final 25m for Ahmad bin Harmash.

A 6yo gelded son of Oasis Dream, he was shedding his maiden tag at the seventh attempt, all for present connections in the UAE. He had appeared about to make a winning seasonal return at Sharjah, over 1700m, 20 days ago only to be swamped close home by Rougher.

For the owner, it was also a first taste of victory with what is the only horse he has raced to date.

For 3yos, a 1600m maiden proved the perfect opportunity for SS Izz Dubai to make a winning debut under a positive ride from Antonio Fresu, who was completing a double, with the pair probably never headed for Ibrahim Al Hadhrami who trains the colt for Ahmed Saeed Al Mazrouei.

Having enjoyed a fairly uncontested lead, Fresu’s mount looked in trouble when Aarem loomed large at the top of the straight but he soon fought off her challenge and had plenty left in the tank when Farhaan briefly threatened halfway up the straight, pulling clear of that rival over the final 300m to post a comfortable debut success.

Very few ever threatened in a second 1600m maiden, which attracted a capacity field of 15, with Omani apprentice Abdul Aziz Al Balushi appearing supremely confident throughout aboard Naser Askar’s Sattam Muscat, completing a quick double for Al Hadhrami as well as a brace for the owner.

It was a case of third time lucky for the 3yo colt who had finished third on both his previous outings, in Muscat in January and here in Al Ain a fortnight ago. Once Al Balushi released the handbrake 300m out, despite his mount showing signs of inexperience, the result was never in doubt.

For horses foaled in the UAE, a 1400m maiden was won in dramatic fashion by Zainhum who was virtually last entering the long straight before powering home over the final 300m under Fernando Jara, the pair snatching what had appeared a most unlikely victory.

Jara was riding in the colours of Saif Asheer Al Sulaiman Al Mazrouei, celebrating his first winner of the season whereas trainer Abubakar Daud was doubling his tally for the campaign.

A 4yo gelding, Zainhum was winning at the fifth time of asking on his second appearance of the new campaign.

A second 1400m maiden followed and a capacity field of 15 faced the starter but from a long way out only one really mattered with apprentice Marcelino Rodrigues making every post a winning one aboard AF Hazem for Ernst Oertel and Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda., partnering his first UAE winner at the fifth attempt.

Homebred, the 4yo colt was opening his account at the fourth attempt on his seasonal debut.