Feature Story

Abu Dhabi feature success for Bin Ghadayer, Ffrench

Abu Dhabi feature success for Bin Ghadayer, Ffrench Nov 17, 2022

By Duane Fonseca


Emirati handler Salem bin Ghadayer and Royston Ffrench combined to win the only Thoroughbred contest on the card the Al Hayl 2200m handicap with Mordin ran to a game four and a quarter length victory in Abu Dhabi’s last race Thursday evening.

Ffrench rode the 8yo Invincible Spirit gelding mid-division but was making smooth progress past the half-way mark. Doug Waton’s Al Qaqaa brought the field of 10 into the straight dash for the finish, but his two length lead was easily usurped by Ffrench for whom Mordin stretched out fully to run home a comfortable winner.

Al Qaqaa was second in the hands of Dane O’Neill, with Act Of Wisdom a further three fourths behind for trainer Elise Jeanne and rider Richard Mullen.

Bin Ghadayer’s Emirati compatriot Khalifa Al Neyadi and jockey Saif Al Balushi, from neighbouring Oman, enjoyed quick doubles, first winning the Wathba Stallions Cup for Private Owners series race that was contested as a 1600m handicap with Shoja’a Muscat and doubling up instantly in the Al Badiyah 2200m handicap aboard Adleh.

Racing got underway with the Al Bithnah, a 1200m maiden won by racecourse debutante JAP Ytwaad for Irfan Ellahi and Jean van Overmeire, wherein the 3yo AF Lafeh colt was asked to empty his tank in the later stages and stretched himself out fully down the centre to take over from  Nisren Mahgoub’s Raazaq Baynounah, the ride of Fernando Jara, and win by two and a quarter lengths.

That was followed by the Al Khari 1200m handicap, which was won by Ernst Oertel trained AF Thayer, who successfully contested the lead in the early stages to win gate to post under Tadhg O'Shea.

Trainer Maghoub might have been denied earlier, but jockey Pat Cosgrave helped him open his UAE account in the Al Qor 1600m handicap, which was won by Reem Baynounah, who found that little bit extra in the final 200m to win by two lengths from Ellahi’s JAP Almahfuz, the ride of Ffrench.