Hameem embellishes Abu Dhabi record before Albadwawi makes dream start to training career

Over the same 2200m as the big race itself, the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown Prep was the official highlight when racing action returned to the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club for the first time this season on Thursday, the conditions race going to course specialist Hameem under a confident Dane O’Neill.

The 5yo entire, raced by Al Ajban Stables and in the care of Abdallah Al Hammadi, has now won nine of 12 career starts and is eight from ten here in the capital.

Ali Albadwawi enjoyed the perfect start to his training career, having replaced his old boss Erwan Charpy at Green Stables, when Taamol, his very first runner, flew home to land the only Thoroughbred affair, the concluding 1600m handicap, under Pat Cosgrave.

The first race of the new campaign in the capital, a 1400m conditions race for 4yos, was won in determined fashion by Bahar Muscat, successfully conceding weight to all 15 rivals under Ray Dawson in the colours of Muscat Stud for Pure Arabian Horses for Ibrahim Al Hadhrami.

The classy individual won his first four starts last season, his maiden on dirt in Muscat before three Abu Dhabi victories over 1600m, including a pair in Listed company. He then seemed to find 2200m and 2400m too far on his only two subsequent outings.

A 2200m handicap was won in dramatic fashion when Pat Dobbs, sporting the silks of Yas Racing, delivered Shamakh to lead right on the line for Jean-Claude Pecout.

The homebred 5yo entire was doubling his career tally having won a course and distance handicap in January of this year.

Pecout said: “That was very exciting and all credit to Pat Dobbs who gave him the perfect ride because the horse is not the easiest.”

A 1200m handicap for horses in private ownership, like so many similar races, was won by a horse ridden by Tadhg O’Shea for the owner who retains him, Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda and saddled by Ernst Oertel, AF Sail landing the spoils on this occasion.

Settled in second behind stable companion AF Yakhtem, the homebred 6yo entire quickened to the front 300m out and never really looked in danger of being caught. He has now won three of just five starts, his previous two victories on dirt and it was a third consecutive success, some 736 days after the second in that sequence.

Oertel said: “This horse has plenty of speed and we will probably stay at 1200m for now but we could try 1400m.”

O’Shea added: “He is a horse we always really liked but sadly missed last season so it is particularly pleasing to get him back with a win.”

Thirteen 3yos, 12 making their debuts, contested a 1200m maiden which produced an impressive winner in the shape of Jalmood on whom the unflappable Adrie de Vries did not panic after a tardy start before producing the gelding to lead in the final 50m, making a perfect start to his career, for Athbah Racing and Mohamed Daggash.

De Vries was content to let his mount find his stride and get into a rhythm before sneaking closer leaving the back straight and unleashing the winning challenge after the leaders had turned for home.

De Vries said: “I rode one piece of work on this horse and liked him and that was a good performance. He will be better over further and is a promising young horse.”