AF Qoot, ridden by Pat Dobbs, wins the Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Cup at Sharjah Longines Racecourse on Sunday.
Sunday’s Sharjah meeting featured the Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Cup, a conditions race with Prestige status over the straight 1200m, and Pat Dobbs oozed class in the saddle, producing AS Qoot, who was seemingly outpaced at halfway, suggesting the early protagonists went plenty fast enough, to lead in the final 75m for Khalifa Al Neyadi in the colours of Sheikh Hamed Bin Khadim Bin Butti.
As a 5yo mare she was receiving weight from all bar 4yo filly Wadheha among her five rivals and was winning for the third consecutive time this season having won her previous two starts, over 1000m on this course and again over the minimum trip at Al Ain.
The fixture commenced with a 1000m handicap which proved to be a pre-Xmas cracker with five of the 15 runners locked in battle entering the final 100m.
As it transpired, Abdul Aziz Al Balushi timed his late challenge to perfection aboard Majed El Meqirat in the colours of Ahmed Alneibi for trainer Ali Al Ameri, a first ever trip to the winner’s enclosure for the last named.
The victor, a homebred 6yo entire, was doubling his career tally, adding this success to a 1200m maiden he landed on the Abu Dhabi turf almost exactly two years ago when trained by Ahmed Al Shehhi.
For horses foaled in the UAE, a 2000m handicap attracted a select field of seven with Richard Mullen delivering Al Asayl’s Taajer to lead in the final 200m to win well for trainer Salem Al Ketbi.
Mullen always appeared confident aboard the homebred 6yo gelding who had won just once in 25 previous starts, a 1700m handicap, here at Sharjah, in February 2021.
The Al Asayl team really appeared to be hitting form and were celebrating a double just an hour later after seasonal debutant Makhtar, having just a fourth career start, ran out a relatively comfortable winner of a 1700m maiden.
A lesser quality 2000m handicap for horses born locally than that won earlier by Taajer was then won by AF Al Motamen, Tadhg O’Shea soon dictating matters in the saddle for Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda and Ernst Oertel, the winner never really appearing in any great danger of defeat.
It was a third career success for the homebred 7yo entire and second consecutively having also won his previous outing, over 2000m, at Al Ain.
The final and only Thoroughbred contest on the card, a 2000m handicap, was grabbed late on by Obeyaan, produced to grab the spoils in the final 75m by Sam Hitchcott for Doug Watson and Sultan Ismail Ahmad Abdulla Albalooshi.
Godolphin warhorse Cascadian did what head trainer James Cummings expected when he zoomed home in the straight to win the G1 All Aged Stakes over 1,400m to cap a terrific day for Godolphin at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
"I was an introvert, and didn't leave the house much," Al Sharari said from a sandy track flanked by palm trees. "My relationship with horses broke the barrier of introversion. If I can tame a horse, then I can do anything."
A strong field of world class horses, which features the likes of Felix and Glen Force, has been declared for the prestigious Group 1 $4m Dubai Turf.
Now an 8-year-old, after 20 starts he has won just once, his final appearance in his native France, over 1,700m on turf, in July 2018. He joined Mohd Ramadan, making a very pleasing local debut in a conditions race over the same 2,000m as Friday’s race.
Akvile Gedraityte, riding in the colours of the Dubai Police team, dominated the 77 Km Women’s Open category race, taking the top spot with a time of 1:47:23.69.
Tunisian rider Nousri Ali took the Men’s Open crown at the 77km Nad Al Sheba Cycling Championship on Thursday night. The cycling championship is one of the highlights of the 10th NAS Sports Tournament. Held under the theme ‘Limitless Abilities’ and organized by the Dubai Sports Council (DSC), the NAS Sports
They will soon undergo intensive on-snow training combined with dry land sessions focused on acrobatic skills and fitness in Laax Snow Park, Switzerland, one of the world’s best freestyle skiing and snowboarding resorts which hosts the US Open annually.