Antonio Fresu rides Almoreb to victory in the Al Shafar Investment LLC sponsored 1400m race at the Jebel Ali Racecourse on Friday.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Friday’s penultimate meeting of 2021 at Jebel Ali Racecourse featured a pair of quality handicaps, contested by Dubai World Cup Carnival hopefuls and aspirants, the first, over 1400m, was dominated by Shadwell whose six runners provided the first three home, Almoreb coming out on top under Antonio Fresu.
He is trained by Musabbeh Al Mheiri, as is runner-up Shajjy who led throughout most of the race with Doug Watson’s Fanaar taking third.
A 7yo gelded son of Raven’s Pass, Almroreb was actually having his first start for Mheiri having won twice last season for Ali Rashid Al Rayhi. He was also successful on three occasions in Britain for Richard Hannon.
The Shadwell silks had enjoyed a Meydan double the previous evening, including Moqarrab, partnered by Fresu to land a 1400m handicap for Al Mheiri.
The second such handicap was over 1800m and won readily by Prevent, completing a rapid double for the burgeoning Ahmad Bin Harmash and Ray Dawson partnership who had also landed the previous 1950m handicap.
In a field of just six, Prevent raced in second until sent for home 400m out and, although Monoski was closing as the line approached, Dawson’s mount was always doing enough to gain the day.
Now owned by Ahmad Ghalita Almheiri, a 6yo Poet’s Voice gelding, Prevent has had somewhat of a ‘journeyman’ career and, on just his second local start and since joining Harmash this year, has now won five times having scored twice in both Britain and more recently Scandinavia.
Over the longest trip currently utilised at Jebel Ali, 1950m, a handicap went the way of the same pairing, combining with Zucchini, owned by the trainer’s young son, Hamdan Harmash.
Settled in third of the 12 runners, the 6yo Dubawi gelding was urged to challenge halfway up the long straight, hitting the front with about 300m remaining with the race in safekeeping entering the final 150m.
It was a first UAE success for the horse who was actually doubling his career tally having previously tasted victory in France, for Godolphin and Andre Fabre, in November 2017.
A solitary Purebred Arabian contest, a 1400m maiden for horses foaled locally, kicked off proceedings, contested by a capacity field of 16 but developed into a duel over the final 200m when Arim W’Rsan took over from AF Mutakafel, only to have that rival fight back to snatch victory virtually on the line.
However, drama ensued with the stewards awarding Arim W’Rsan at a subsequent enquiry, Richrd Mullen, sporting the colours of Sheikh Hazza Bin Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Jaci Wickham the beneficiaries.
A 5yo entire, the eventual winner was having just his fifth career start and, on his Jebel Ali debut, was building on two 1200m third place finishes so far this season, on turf in Abu Dhabi, dirt at Sharjah.
Very few of the septet who lined up in a 1200m maiden for 3yos were ever really able to land a blow with seasonal debutant No Limits, having tracked the early pace, committed for home shortly after halfway by Tadhg O’Shea and never going to be caught, scoring for Bhupat Seemar in the colours of Nasar Askar.
Purchased by his owner as a 2yo at Tattersalls for 70,000gns in June 2020, the Siyouni gelding ran four times as a juvenile last season, his best effort when runner-up in a decent conditions contest on his penultimate start in the middle of February.
Shadwell were able to celebrate another double after the relatively comfortable success of Tashaaboh in a 1000m handicap, Dane O’Neill always seemingly happy, the pair greeted by a delighted Erwan Charpy.