Goshawk lands feature to complete Al Ain four-timers for Al Hammadi & Al Ajban Stables

Thursday’s second fixture of the new campaign at Al Ain, an all Purebred Arabian card, was undoubtedly highlighted by a quality conditions contest over 1800m and class prevailed with Goshawke landing the spoils under Pat Cosgrave.

Having taken the initiative from stable companion Octave with about 300m left to run, Cosgrave’s mount was then forced to battle as Octave found plenty, responding valiantly to the urgings of Richard Mullen.

However, Goshawke prevailed to provide Abdallah Al Hammadi and Al Ajban Stables a stunning fourth consecutive victory on the card, a feat amplified when you consider they were only represented in four races.

Now a 7yo entire, Goshawke was actually winning for the first time since his crowning glory, his 2200m Meydan success in the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge R2 on the last day of January 2019.

Earlier, a second 1600m maiden on the card was dominated by Al Ajban Stables and their trainer Al Hammadi who saddled Indy’s Day to win easily under Richard Mullen, chased home at a respectable distance by stable companion Guvnor.

Slowest away of seven runners, Mullen allowed the 3yo colt plenty of time to find a rhythm before making smooth progress at halfway. They swept past another stablemate, early leader Yaghout, at the top of the long straight and the race was soon in safekeeping, the colt building on his only previous appearance when runner-up, under Mullen, in a 1400m Al Ain maiden just last Saturday.

Owner and trainer were celebrating a double just 30 minutes later, this time combining with Bernardo Pinheiro who delivered Oss to lead halfway up the straight in a 2000m handicap with defeat never looking likely thereafter.

Settled nearer last that first throughout the first half of the race, Pinheiro started to edge closer with about 800m remaining and was able to save ground on the inside rail turning for home, the pair looming large as a genuine threat.

Pinheiro set sail for home about 400m out and the race was basically over, the 4yo colt doubling his career haul on his seventh start having previously been victorious in a 1600m course maiden almost a year ago.

Pinheiro then made every post a winning one aboard the same connections’ Rayqa, the only mare among the dozen runners in the 1800m maiden, a third consecutive winner on the card saddled by Al Hammadi sporting the lime green silks of Al Ajban Stables.

A 7yo, she was opening her account at the tenth attempt, her best previous efforts being a second place finish and twice passing the post in third in a career which dates back to February 2018 when she was runner-up, on debut, in a 1400m maiden here at Al Ain.

For 3yos in private ownership, the opening 1600m maiden attracted a field of 11 but very few were ever able to get involved with Majad Baynounah, one of ten making their debut, leading from the outset under Fernando Jara, having his first ride of the new season.

Saddled by Mohamed Daggash for Abu Dhabi Racing, the colt was locked in a duel throughout the final 400m with Yas Xmensor but every time the latter looked likely to go past, Jara’s mount found more for his rider’s urgings.

Plenty held claims entering the final 200m of a 1000m maiden which was the point when Farhida De Carrere and Sandro Paica shot clear, the pair galloping resolutely to the line to win comfortably.

A 6yo mare, prepared by Ibrahim Aseel for Sheikh Abdulla bin Maid Al Qassemi, she was shedding her maiden status at just the fifth attempt and clearly relished the Al Ain 1000m; her best previous effort was when runner-up over the same course and distance in January.

Also down the straight 1000m chute, the concluding handicap looked wide open on paper with a capacity field of 15 facing the starter but only one mattered over the last 250m when local and dirt deutante Leena shot clear to provide Brazilian jockey Pinheiro a third winner at the fixture.

Homebred by Yas Racing and trained by Majed Al Jahoori, the 4yo filly was recording a first career success at just the fifth attempt and first at a sprint distance after four outings in her native France, twice at 1400m, the other two over 1500m.