In Form Oertel and O`Shea Land Sharjah Showpiece with Molahen El Alhan

Meeting Concludes Sharjah 2013/14 Season

Sharjah’s final meeting of the season on Saturday afternoon was highlighted by the track’s showpiece race and it was turned into a procession by the Ernst Oertel-trained Molahen El Alhan who made all under Tadhg O’Shea.

Champion Jockey O’Shea took his mount straight to the lead and the pair went clear 900m out and, with 700m to go, they must have been 15 lengths ahead of their nearest rival. O’Shea’s mount tried to drift off the rail at the top of the straight but the jockey soon straightened him out and, despite tiring close home, they had five lengths in hand over MH Areeb at the line.

It was a double for O’Shea who had earlier combined with Saifaldin Deeb who supplied the first and second places in the opening 1200m maiden. That race saw ES Fnnan running on far too strongly for stable companion ES Maydan under Daniel Muscutt. The Deeb duo were pretty much in the first three all the way before O’Shea’s mount surged clear 200m out to win easily.

Both are owned by HE Sheikh Abdulla Bin Majid Al Qassimi, who opened his seasonal account at Al Ain on Friday with the victory of the Deeb-trained ES Zeriyab. The owner said: “It is never easy to win races here in the UAE and it has been a good two days. I am indebted to Saifaldin Deeb for both winners and to get second as well here is very pleasing.”

It was the first of three new track records on the card.

O’Shea looked set for a treble in the concluding Sharjah Marathon, a 2700m handicap, with his mount Forgehill Cezanne, trained by Oertel, seemingly in control 200m from home, only to be caught in the dying strides by stable companion, Swyft. Pat Cosgrave, hard at work on the eventual winner 600 out, was rewarded for his persistence with a last gasp success and a third track record.

An impressive winner at Jebel Ali last Friday, the Satish Seemar-trained Glenleven followed up in great style, making virtually all under stable jockey, Richard Mullen in the only Thoroughbred race on the card, a 1200m handicap. Well away, the pair were soon in front, though perhaps headed by Surge Ahead at halfway.

However, when Mullen asked his mount for maximum effort, they shot clear 300m out, powering away from his 10 toiling rivals (Princess Rose Anne had stayed in the stalls) to establish a new track record in the process.

Mullen said: “As I explained at Jebel Ali last week he is a horse we always held in the highest regard but was getting disappointing. That win last week will have done his confidence the power of good and that was impressive today.”

Emirati apprentice Saeed Al Mazrooei made all on Al Jazi W’Rsan for Bakhit Al Ketbi in a 1700m maiden. Challenged persistently throughout the final 700m by numerous challengers, Al Mazrooei’s mount fought off JAP Mahr, who had stalked him all the way, at the 200m pole, only for Abu Dhabi Helwa, Qaitar Al Reef and his own stable companion, Wakeed W’Rsan, to try and pass him.
The jockey, who also had a winner at Al Ain on Friday and now has a career best nine this season, said: “It has been a good season and things have gone well. This horse was really brave today and did not want to be passed.”

As the runners swung for home in the 1700m handicap, the race appeared at the mercy of the Helal Al Alawi-trained Al Areen but Xavier Ziani’s mount went very wide on the turn and continued to drift across the track.

Meanwhile, Royston Ffrench had hit the front on the far rail on Navaro, trained by Ibrahim Al Hadhrami and they were always holding the late challenges of Atab and Wald Johnny in the final 100m. It was left to Ziani and the errant Al Areen to provide the final challenge – the pair having straightened out when finding the nearside rail - but Ffrench’s mount still had half a length to spare at the line.

Ffrench said: “I was happy to take my time as they went pretty quick up front. As the leaders have tired we have made good ground and he did it nicely enough.”