Thursday’s final meeting of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club season was highlighted by the 2400m Group 3 Arabian Triple Crown R3, restricted to 4yos and dominated by Helal Alalawi and The National Stables, their RB Kingmaker denying stable companion Joe Star with a smooth success under Antonio Fresu.
Having won the 1600m Listed first leg, Fresu’s mount was then third to Joe Star in the 2200m Group 3 second round so, trainer and owners have completed a clean sweep of the series, albeit with two different horses.
Fresu always looked confident, biding his time behind the leaders before committing for home in the straight, the result never in doubt once they were in front.
Fresu said: “I was pretty confident of a big run and he settled much better than the last time. He is growing up with racing and should be a nice horse for the future.”
Apprentice Qais Al Busaidi grabbed the initiative aboard Barjah about 225m from home in a decent 1400m handicap, the pair always seemingly holding on thereafter despite a plethora of opponents closing over the final 100m.
A 5yo entire, Barjah, owned and trained by Khalifa Al Neyadi, was winning for the third time.
A 2200m handicap, for horses foaled locally, was won narrowly by Taajer, Richard Mullen in the saddle for Al Asayl and Salem Al Ketbi.
Mullen sent the 7yo homebred gelding for home with about 225m remaining and they clung on grimly, the pair registering their third success of the season, second over this course and distance.
Mullen said: “That was getting close at the end but he has held on well and he has been a model of consistency all season. He is just a horse with a big heart who always wants to please.”
The concluding race of the season in the capital and only Thoroughbred contest on the card, a 1600m handicap, was a thriller with a handful of the 16 runners in serious contention entering the closing stages.
Ultimately victory went to Ali Haddad’s Chosen Mark, partnered by Bernardo Pinheiro for Ahmed Al Shemaili.
AF Marmuq and apprentice Marcelino Rodrigues produced a gallant attempt to make every post a winning one in a 1600m handicap, only to be denied in the dying strides by Fernando Jara aboard ES Sudani, in the colours of Salem Ali Murshed Al Murar for Hamad Al Marar.
For horses in private ownership, the opening 1200m maiden was won comfortably by Beau Do Soleil, never going to be denied once sent for home by Oscar Chavez in the colours of Byerley Racing for Abubakar Daud.