Duffield grabs Sharjah feature

Estiqraar was the surprising winner of the featured 2000m conditions race at Sharjah`s second meeting of the current season on Saturday afternoon.

Fittingly, he is owned by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum whose Derrinstown Stud in Ireland sponsored the whole card.

Rory Cleary was in the saddle on the Gill Duffield-trained winner and she said: "It is nice to get off the mark for the season and Rory has done everything right and was in the right place at the tight time behind a steady pace."‬‬‪‪

The same owner`s colours were also carried to victory in the concluding 1700m handicap by top-weight Fantastique MHF who made virtually all under Champion Jockey Tadhg O`Shea.

Trained by Doug Watson, he was completing a double for the combination after Gulf of Gold won the 2000m Thoroughbred handicap.

O`Shea was delighted: "It has taken a while to get a winner on the board but I was very hopeful today and it is great to get off the mark. Both horses are proven here and repeating similar victories from last season."‬‬‪‪

Watson added: "We had decent chances throughout the card and it is nice to get a double on the board."‬‬‪‪

The second Thoroughbred race was a 1700m maiden and Satish Seemar saddled a 1-2 with stable jockey Richard Mullen and Radegund Abbey denying stable companion Treachery and apprentice Harry Bentley.

Mullen was pleased: "It is never easy choosing when we have two live chances but it is great when we get it right choice wise."‬‬‪‪

Trainer Jaber Bittar and jockey Jesus Rosales combined to win a 1700m maiden with Ragdan who was building on the promise shown in a big field Abu Dhabi maiden on his sole previous start.‬‬‪‪

Trainer Tony Manuel has made a great start from his new base near Al Ain and he and Pat Dobbs combined to win a second 1700m maiden with Rakkad Al Asayl, meanwhile Naughty did not live up to his name in the opening 1200m maiden, opening his account at the third attempt.

He was ridden by Antioco Murgia for trainer Ahmed Al Shamshi.‬‬