Sultan Mohammed Khalifa Al Yahyaee.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Sunday is the final fixture of the current campaign to be staged at Sharjah Longines Racecourse highlighted by a prestigious contest, the 1700m HH The Ruler of Sharjah Cup, won last year by AF Maqam for Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda, Ernst Oertel and Tadhg O’Shea.
They are back to attempt to defend their title and it will be a big surprise if they are not a major danger to the remaining 10 in a feature restricted to 4&5yos that were foaled in the UAE. The race carries a prize purse of Dhs 250,000.
Sultan Mohammed Khalifa Al Yahyaee, Director of the Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club, praised His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, for his unwavering support for the club.
He also thanked Sheikh Sultan Bin Muhammad Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, for his support.
Yahyaee expressed his delight and satisfaction at the way the season panned out at Sharjah Longines Racecourse.
“Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club remains at the forefront of racing in the UAE. “Like in the past, this season produced so many memorable moments, and there is so much to look forward to for next season,” Yahyaee added.
“We thank the sponsors, including Longines, Sharjah Sports Council, and media sponsorship of Sharjah TV for their valued support, and the Emirates Racing Authority for its efforts and continuous cooperation in developing racing in the UAE and here at Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club.
“The efforts of the management and those involved in racing have had a huge impact on enriching the quality of racing here.
“We hope the fans will have a good time on Sunday when we host our last meeting of the season,” he added.
Meanwhile, as a 4yo filly, but a maiden after four starts, Fadiah Al Wathba receives a very healthy weight allowance and appears a big danger.
Third on debut, staying on well over 1200m on this track, her three subsequent outings have been on the Abu Dhabi turf, highlighted by a neck defeat on her penultimate outing in the 1600m Emirates Fillies Classic.
Before that she was also second in the 1400m Abu Dhabi Fillies Classic so she has twice finished runner-up at this Prestige level.
The step up to 2200m and Group 3 proved too much for her last week and this looks a more suitable assignment. Bernardo Pinheiro, riding at the top of his game, is in the saddle for Majed Al Jahoori.
She is owned by Al Wathba Racing as is Hakaam, a 5yo in the most capable hands of Jean de Roualle and the mount of Dane O’Neill. Well beaten in the 1900m Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge R2 on his latest start, five weeks ago, he was runner-up over this 1700m prior to that in the GCC Cup, beaten just a neck.
He was a close third to AF Maqam in this race last year and looks likely to be involved at the business end again in what appears a good renewal.