Jawaal sprints to Ruler’s Cup glory in Sharjah feature - GulfToday

Jawaal sprints to Ruler’s Cup glory in Sharjah feature


Jim Crowley rides Jawaal to victory at the Ruler of Sharjah Cup on Saturday.

Racing at Sharjah Longines Racecourse on Saturday afternoon featured the track’s traditional annual highlight, the The Ruler Of Sharjah Cup, a 1700m conditions race afforded Prestige status, where class prevailed with Jawaal delivering a workmanlike, rather than spectacular, performance to win the prestigious prize.

Settled in midfield by Jim Crowley, opening his account for the year, the homebred 5-year-old entire was one of several holding a genuine chance entering the short straight where he soon gained the initiative.

They looked set to win easily, but were made to work hard by Al Ajeeb W’Rsan, Alazoum and Maqam who followed him home in that order.

Crowley’s mount, reunited with the jockey for the first time since they won last year’s 1600m Emirates Colts Classic, the only previous time they were combined, was actually winning a fourth Prestige race and is now unbeaten at Sharjah after three course appearances. In December he won a pair of 1200m course Prestige contests, a handicap, the HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan Cup and, just a week later, the Crown Prince Of Sharjah, a conditions race.

Both were also restricted to horses foaled in the UAE. He then tackled ‘open’ company in Group Three and Group Two contests in Abu Dhabi and at Meydan respectively. He clearly benefitted from this return to calmer waters.

Inaugurated in 2002, though not contested in either 2008, after bad weather, or 2009 when the course was closed, it was a first win in the race for Crowley, Majed Al Jahoori and Al Wathba Racing.

Al Jahoori said: “He really seems to like the Sharjah track and has won all his three races here. I am very happy that he was able to step up in trip and I am very lucky to be training this horse.

“He’s still green and learning, so I think he needs time to grow and, we hope, he will be a nice class horse. Jim Crowley has done well on this horse before and I am very happy he accepted the ride and won well with him again.”

 The curtain came down after the only Thoroughbred contest on the card, a 2000m handicap and Crowley wasted little time doubling his 2021 tally, this time riding in the world famous blue and white silks of his Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, by whom he is retained, aboard Maqaadeer for Doug Watson who also saddled runner-up Cosmo Kramer.

A 5-year-old gelded son of Mukhadram, the winner was doubling his own personal tally, his only previous success registered in a July 2019 Nottingham handicap over 2000m when trained in Britain by Ed Dunlop. This was his tenth appearance for Watson and fifth this season and he arrived here after some solid Jebel Ali efforts, finishing third over 1600m before filling the same berth over 1950m then second over the latter trip.

For horses foaled in the UAE, the curtain raising 1200m maiden attracted a field of 13, but there was probably only ever one leader with Omani apprentice Abdul Aziz Al Balushi sending Shawall straight to the head of affairs, kicking clear shortly after halfway and with the race soon settled. Sporting the silks of Al Wathba Racing for trainer Majed Al Jahoori, Al Balushi was achieving something various other jockeys had failed to do on the homebred 6-year-old gelding in no less than 21 previous attempts! Runner-up four times and third twice previously, this was his first appearance in maiden company since a second place finish, over this 1200m Sharjah course and distance, at the end of November. He was also third over the same track and trip, behind aforementioned stablemate Jawaal in the Crown Prince Of Sharjah, a Prestige contest, in December so was fully entitled to win a maiden such as this.

The following handicap, over the same 1200m, produced an almost carbon copy with Fabrice Veron soon in front aboard Anna Bella AA and the pair staying there throughout the remainder of the contest, 11 rivals never able to land a telling blow. Previously a maiden after 13 starts, seven locally, the 7-year-old mare, was a breakthrough first ever winner, after 53 previous runners over four seasons for trainer Abdelkhir Adam. She races in the colours of Liwa Stables from where he trains and this was the first time she had finished in the first three locally, although she had managed a second and a pair of third place finished in her native US.

A delighted Adam said: “I knew she would win or go very close today because we knew she was in very good form and I told Fabrice that he had a big chance on her. He is a very good jockey and gave her a very good ride today.”

Related articles