Feature Story

Eastern World’s Sprint Cup success gets Bin Harmash’s heart racing 

Eastern World’s Sprint Cup success gets Bin Harmash’s heart racing  Nov 26, 2023

By Duane Fonseca - 


Trainer Ahmad bin Harmash will have his eyes set on landing the bonus that goes to the winner of both legs of the Emirates Sprint Series after Eastern World earned him the privilege by winning the HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup, the first leg of the series, at Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club on Sunday.

Ridden by Gabriele Malune, the 2022 Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal winner powered home to deny Bhupat Seemar’s Tadhg O’Shea driven Tuz in the 1200m contest, the final event on a six-race programme. Eastern World won by a length, with last year Emirates Sprint Series champion, Road Bloc (Osama Refai/Oscar Chavez) finishing a distant seven and three fourths of a length behind in third.

The HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup was the only Thoroughbred contest on the card, with the feature event on the Purebred Arabian side of things, HH The Crown Prince of Sharjah Cup, a Conditions run over the same 1200m strip, going to Majed Al Jahoori’s Bassam Al Wathba (Bernardo Pinheiro), who finished with a length and a quarter to spare from Al Zafy (Khalifa Al Neyadi/Saif Al Balushi). Barghash was a further length adrift in third for Ibrahim Al Hadhrami and Connor Beasley.

Beasley made headlines on the undercard with a brace. The English rider first won the Al Ferdous Cup 1700m maiden aboard Ibrahim Al Hadhrami’s Jawhar, who made a winning lunge on the line to deny Jaber Bittar’s Game Time, the ride of Abdul Aziz Al Balushi, by a neck, and completed his scoring for the afternoon when guiding Abdallah Al Hammadi’s Majdi in the Palma Spring Cup 2000m handicap (0-80), which was won by a length and a quarter from Taajer (Dennis O’Brien/Richard Mullen).

Royston Ffrench enjoyed a third win of the campaign guiding Irfan Ellahi’s JAP Awqat to victory in the card-opening Dubai Creek Tower Cup 1200m maiden, which the pair put to bed even before they could spring out of the chute and onto the course proper, with second-placed Rasikh Al Wathba nearly seven lengths behind for Jean-Claude Pecout and Ryan Curatolo.

Denied in the opener, Frenchman Pecout scored in the subsequent Al Yasmmeen Cup, another 1200m maiden, with Nahla Al Wathba, expertly steered by Adrie de Vries to victory by a short head in a race where his Al Jahoori-schooled Al Wathba Racing teammate Shurooq Al Wathba took second in the command of Pinheiro.