No Place For Loafers At Abu Dhabi

Idler wins well under Frederik Tylicki
Photo: Erika Rasmussen

Trainer Abdulla Al Hammadi celebrates a three-timer

Idler did not live up to his name landing the spoils in the Gee Whiz Handicap (1400m) the only Thoroughbred race and the highlight of the six race card at Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

With stable jockey Freddy Tylicki in the saddle the Ahmad bin Harmash-trained six-year-old was well out of his ground at halfway behind the frantic early gallop set by Alraased.

The Tadhg O’Shea ridden Alraased actually appeared to have most of his 13 rivals in trouble as the runners swung into the straight and it was only in the final 100m he was collared, finally finishing fourth.

“They went a good, fast gallop,” said Tylicki. “I was always going well and quite happy. He has then run on very nicely in the straight and I was always thought I would get there.
“This is not a horse we would want to run back too quickly as he seems to really appreciate a beak between his races.”

Meanwhile it turned into a red letter meeting for freshman Al Ajban Stables-trainer Abdulla Al Hammadi who led in three of the five Purebred Arabian winners.
He opened his winning account when the first race on the card a 1600m maiden went the way of the Saklawi Al Reef, ridden by Richard Mullen.

Settled in midfield, the winner was asked to close on the home turn before driving to the front halfway down the straight.

The four-year-old never looked likely to be caught although Brooklin Jet D’Azrak was closing as the line approached. At the post Mullen’s mount had a neck to spare recording his first win from nine race starts.

“The trainer was pretty confident in fairness,” said Mullen. “He has had a few starts so knew what it was all about and knuckled down well when I asked him.”

An hour later Al Ajban and Al Hammadi visited the Winner`s Circle again after Nawarat Al Reef came from well back on the home turn taking out the 1600m conditions event restricted to fillies and mares.

Al Hammadi also saddled the runner-up, Bouthayna Al Reef who, under Dane O’Neill, looked all over the winner until winning rider Fernando Jara unleashed the decisive challenge of her stable companion.

Jesus Rosales, a regular rider for Al Ajban, delivered the third leg of the treble guiding Jamila Al Reef to an easy win in the concluding 2200m conditions race.

Al Asayl-trainer Eric Lemartinel fresh from his own treble at Al Ain on Saturday supplied the 1-2 in a 1600m handicap with supposed ‘second string’ Sheikh Down and Gerald Avranche holding off the late challenge of Tadhg O’Shea aboard stablemate Nashmee.

Content to take his time just behind the early pace, Avranche took his mount to the front fully 300m out and they ran on strongly to gain the spoils.

“I know both our horses well,” said Avranche. “It appears Tadhg and Nashmee perhaps found a bit of trouble early in the straight whereas I had a clear run.
“When Tadhg’s horse challenged mine found plenty and it was a good win in a decent little race.
“I had a couple of winners at Al Ain yesterday so it has been a good couple of days.”

Al Muntakhab did not always appear the most straightforward of characters but ran out the winner of this meeting`s edition of the Wathba Stud Farm Cup (2200m) under apprentice George Buckell.
It was only the second UAE and twelve lifetime start for the lightly raced Helal Al Alawi-trained eight-year-old.

“This horse has not long arrived from Qatar,” said Buckell. “The handlers did a great job with him at the start as he was not the easiest but during the race he was fine.
“I am certainly hoping to finish the season as the leading apprentice and will be somewhat disappointed if I do not achieve that target.”