Participants in action during the Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup race in Sharjah on Saturday.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
A Doug Watson-trained Galvanize sprinted to a facile victory under jockey Nathan Crosse at the Dhs200,000 Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup, a 1700m handicap and the only Thoroughbred race on the six-card meeting, in Sharjah on Saturday.
The victory was part of a great afternoon for Crosse, who also guided AF Sahwa, trained by M Ramadan, to a victory at Dhs40,000 Spirit Collection Chronometer, a 1200m stake.
Settled in about third, behind leader Madkhal, Crosse spurred his mount in the final 100 metres as he finished ahead of Golden Goal and Native Appeal, who came second and third respectively, to hand Watson 1-2-3 finish in the Sharjah feature.
It was a sixth career success for Galvanize and fourth since joining Watson, a second in the ownership of Hamid Radan.
The opening 1200m maiden, for colts and geldings foaled in the UAE, was won by a determined debutant in the shape of AF Thayer who was soon in front under Tadhg O’Shea and probably never headed despite a persistent challenge from the far more experienced Shawall, the race between the pair from shortly after halfway.
Riding for his main employer, Champion Owner Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda and Ernst Oertel, O’Shea had to conjure up a brave effort from the homebred 3-year-old colt, in doing so denying a 5-year-old gelding who had already had no less than 15 starts.
Thirty minutes later, the fillies’ equivalent, was a memorable one for the connections of AF Sahwa with apprentice Crosse opening his local account at just the second attempt and seeing trainer Mohamed Ramadan back among the winners after two blank seasons.
It was just a second UAE success for owner Ahmed Obaid Mohd Al Neyadi.
The success looked unlikely entering the final 500m when early leader Ashjaan went clear under Fabrice Veron and Crosse’s mount had more of her 11 rivals in front of her than behind.
However, the 4-year-old, actually bred by Al Nabooda, on just her second career start having never landed a blow over 1000m at Al ain a fortnight ago, realised what was required of her about 400m home, finishing fast to snatch the spoils close home.
Pink Polo Day signalled the return of exciting polo action to the magnificent Ghantoot Racing and Polo Club's grounds as Ghantoot A and Ghantoot B teams locked horns in a pulsating clash on Friday.
The final meeting of the Sharjah Longines Racecourse season on Saturday was highlighted by Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Cup, a 1700m Prestige handicap which produced a grandstand finish with Al Mufham SB snatching the spoils in the dying strides.
Anita Annika Sande and her horse ‘For Cash 2’ from Elite Stable was the victor in the closing competition of the 15th week of the Emirates Longines Show Jumping League held at the Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club (SERC).
Currently, Babar is placed at the top with 818 rating points, however, India's Suryakumar Yadav is not far behind as he has 805 rating points. Last week, he stood at 816 points, just two points shy of Babar.
The tournament will be held over the weekend of Feb.18-19, 2023 at Zayed City Sports Stadium, an iconic landmark in Abu Dhabi and the largest multi-purpose sports venue in the UAE.
The 73-year-old was on his way back home from Cape Town to Despatch in Eastern Cape, after a golf weekend when the tragic incident took place. Three others were also killed in the crash.