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SNF Maher Claims Sharjah Highlight For Trainer, Peromingo

Pat Dobbs and SNF Maher secured their second Sharjah feature of the current campaign when running out narrow winners of the concluding 1700m handicap, the highlight of the track’s third meeting of the season.

Trained by Julio Peromingo, SNF Maher won a 2000m conditions race a fortnight ago by a neck from Kalahari Desert and he won this time by quarter of a length from BH One.

“It was the first time he had worn a visor in a race last time and it certainly worked on that occasion and has again here. He has coped well with a big rise in the handicap and shorter trip and it would be nice to think he can improve again.”

Having saddled his first winner in almost five years a fortnight ago, trainer Irfan Ellahi was in the winner`s enclosure again after the opening 1200m maiden in which his JAP Naim made virtually all the running under Xavier Ziani.

The winning jockey said: “He did get a bit lonely out in front about 200m out but responded well when I asked him to finish off his race. The trainer was quite confident beforehand and that has been justified.”

The only Thoroughbred race was a 1200m handicap in which Dane O`Neill produced the Ali Rashid Al Raihe-trained Serhaal to lead in the dying strides in a thrilling finish. The winner is owned by O`Neill`s main employer HH Sheikh Hamdan who sponsored five races at the meeting.

“It has been a good few weeks,” said O’Neill. “The boss had his 600th UAE winner here at Sharjah two weeks ago and it was great to win the big race at Meydan for him on Thursday. Let`s hope the run can continue to Derbaas in the National Day Cup tomorrow!”

Tony Manuel`s love affair with Sharjah continues and he saddled AS Mishka who was the comfortable winner of a 2000m maiden under Harry Bentley with the pair drawing well clear of the remainder. Bentley said: “I was always going well and she quickened away nicely when I asked her.”

The following race was also a 2000m maiden but the Jaber Bittar-trained Rabia was forced to work an awful lot harder for his victory, making all under Pat Cosgrave and digging deeply to deny Muwajaha.

Cosgrave was impressed: “She has really battled to hold off the second horse who seemed to be going much better 400m out. She was very tenacious and stuck her head out bravely.”

As he had done at Meydan on Thursday, jockey Wayne Smith gave up his rides due to back trouble and missed a winner when Richleau won a 1700m maiden for trainer Ernst Oertel. Sam Hitchott was the lucky recipient of the spare ride and said: “It is unfortunate for Wayne but a bit of luck for me. She had the benefit of a run under her belt but we had to work quite hard.”