By Duane Fonseca
Francois Herholdt returned to the winning enclosure in the UAE after 20 years Sunday night, with a 100% strike rate that saw him rake in two wins in as many rides. He won two of the three co-feature events on the seven race card.
After turning up the surprise winner of the Lincoln Navigator 1800m handicap on turf with Rashed Bouresly’s Invincibly, he guided Celtic Voyager to a narrow triumph in the Lincoln Presidential 1200m handicap on turf, a race that drew the night to a close.
Making his fifth start of the season for Ras Al Khaimah based Bouresly after transferring from Britain based Karl Burke’s yard at the start of the season, Invincibly, a 5yo Invincible Spirit gelding, turned in a terrific performance running confidently under the guidance of South African Herholdt.
Herholdt, riding his eighth runner this season after keeping away from UAE shores since 2001/02, took Invincibly to the front as soon as the gates flew open, hugging the rail all the way to the finish to win with a length and three fourths to spare.
Poster Paint was second for UAE Champion Trainer-Jockey pair of Bhupat Seemar and Tadhg O’Shea, while a neck behind in third was Sense Of Wisdom for British Flat Champion Trainer-Jockey combine of Charlie Appleby and William Buick.
That was one of three identical big money events on the card, the next was the Lincoln 1600m handicap on dirt, which was snapped up by trainer Salem bin Ghadayer after Hyde Park’s sensational gate to post success following a well-judged ride from Mickael Barzalona. Two lengths back was Triple Venture for Bin Harmash and Dawson, with Ranchero a further three and a half back for Seemar and O’Shea.
Celtic Voyager brought a first ever career triumph for rookie trainer Mohammed Mardood, while doubling up Herholdt’s tally for the night when winning the Lincoln Presidential 1200m handicap sprint along the turf chute in which Persian Empire was a neck back in second for Hamad Al Marar and jockey Rowan Scott, with Harvest Gold a further two and a half adrift for Elise Jeanne and Barzalona.
Ernst Oertel schooled AF Mouhayer’s bid to make all in the card-opening Lincoln Aviator 1900m PA Conditions run was foiled by Majed Al Jahoori’s Rajee, who hugged the rail and powered home under a strong ride from Bernardo Pinheiro to win by a length. Pinheiro was the other rider to sign off with a double, completing his scoring in the first half of the card winning the Al Tayer Motors 2000m handicap on dirt with another heavy handed approach aboard Musabbeh Al Mheiri’s Grand Dubai, who ran on gamely to win by a length and a quarter from Ahmad bin Harmash’s Vasilakos, the ride of Ray Dawson.
It turned out to be a case of third time lucky for the Fawzi Nass-trained Legend Of Cannes in the Lincoln Corsair 1600m maiden on turf that followed, the 3yo Cairo Prince colt going well clear turning for home under Gabriele Malune, with stablemate Sharar only managing to cut the deficit to two lengths when finishing strongly under Fernando Jara on his third start.
Bin Harmash and Dawson were rewarded in the Lincoln Nautilus 2000m handicap (turf), Zucchini seeing none as he went gate to post to win by a neck from Ali Albadwawi’s Last Light, the ride of Jara.