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Sha`Red Lands a Fifth Consecutive Al Ruwais for Sheikh Mansour

Photo: Erika Rasmussen (www.erikarphotography.com)

The feature race at Abu Dhabi on Sunday’s marathon nine-race card was the 1000m Group 3 Al Ruwais and, for the fifth year running, HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan was the winning owner.

Twelve months ago the owner witnessed his pair of Rakha and Sha’Red dead-heat in a thrilling finish but this year it was a lot easier for the latter, who collared the same owner’s Areem 100m out to win comfortably.

The mount of Richard Mullen, Sha’Red, trained by Yousef Al Bloushi, was well out of his ground at halfway but finished with great purpose to win easily in the end.

"These are the kind of spare rides we really like,” said Mullen. “His form was there for everyone to see and the trainer was very bullish before the race.

“They went very quick, as you would expect and we were out of our ground early on but, once we hit the straight, he picked up very well and did it nicely in the end.

“To get past a class horse like Areem he must be a good horse.”

Since taking over from Ernst Oertel at Al Asayl, Salem Al Ketbi has been saddling plenty of winners and enjoyed another good evening, providing three victories on the extended card.
His Abu Alabyad and Adrie De Vries took the Purebred Arabian HH The President Cup Prep race, over 2200m, denying stable jockey, Tadhg O’Shea and stablemate Skoop in the process.
De Vries, in a rich vein of form in recent weeks, made virtually all on the winner who skipped clear early in the straight and always looked likely to hold on.

“He is a nice horse,” said De Vries. “He has a lovely long stride on him. I rode him in work last week and really liked him.

“I would expect there is more to come from him and he will prove a nice new recruit for the yard now he has acclimatised.”

For the second time in three days, the trainer saddled a 1-2-3.
Having achieved the feat in the 3200m feature at Al Ain on Friday, he repeated the trick in a 1400m maiden with De Vries making all on RB Inferno.

They held on grimly from the late challenge of stable companions RB Inferno and RB Rich Surprise.

“I was told to be to be positive,” said De Vries. “It was only his second start and he has responded to my every call.”

Al Ketbi also combined with stable jockey, Tadhg O’Shea, to win the 1600m Abu Dhabi Equestrian Gold Cup with Abhaar.

It was a third win from three career starts for the horse who proved far too good for 13 rivals.

“He is only a young horse but a very good one,” said O’Shea. ‘He is the best four-year-old we have in the yard at the moment and we really think he has a big future.

“Hopefully he can go right to the top as he is still a big baby and learning about the game.”

Denied a chance to defend his Jebel Ali Mile crown 10 days ago when the meeting was cancelled, the Dhruba Selvaratnam-trained Forjatt gained some compensation in HH The President Cup Prep race for Thoroughbreds over 1400m.

Ridden by Oisin Murphy, he broke well and led briefly but the jockey had clearly been told to be patient and reined him in to track the early leaders.

As the 14 runners fanned into the straight, at least eight held leading claims but it was Murphy’s mount who burst to the front to land the spoils.

“It was a good ride,” said Selvaratnam. “He has obeyed my instructions perfectly as I knew there would be a decent pace on early for him to aim at.

“He will go back for the Jebel Ali Mile on Feb 20th and Yaa Wayl, who was fourth here today, will run in HH The President Cup in two weeks.”

The second Thoroughbred contest, a 2200m handicap, was won emphatically by the Ahmed bin Harmash-trained Snow Squall.

Ridden by Silvestre De Sousa and always just off the early speed, Snow Squall was always going well and, once quickening to the front halfway up the straight, was never going to be caught.

Shamikht Al Dhafra made a winning debut in the opening 1400m maiden, leading close home under George Buckell to the visible delight of trainer Hardy Hotger.

“Obviously I am pleased,” said the trainer. “I was hoping for a nice run and George did well on her.”

Eric Lemartinel provided both first and second in the penultimate event, a 1000 handicap with Gerald Avranche and Ain Jaloot leading close home to deny stablemate AF Asefah.

The marathon fixture concluded with a 2200m conditions event and Jaber Bittar provided the first three home with Kana’An and Jesus Rosales prevailing.

He was chased home by Banan Al Reef and Foladh, also representing Bittar.