Feature Story



The fixture concluded with the sole Thoroughbred contest, a 1400m handicap which appeared particularly competitive on paper with a capacity field of 14 facing the starter but was turned into a rout by Nibras Passion.


A 5yo gelded son of Iffraaj, saddled by Ismail Mohammed for Saeed Humaid Al Tayer, he surged clear in the final 225m, completing a double on the card for Tadhg O’Shea. In doing so the gelding doubled his own career tally, adding this to an equally impressive course and distance maiden success, as a 3yo, in January 2021. O’Shea said: “He has always been a nice horse and has been threatening to get back to winning ways.

He really quickened well when I asked him and that was a good performance.” The best of the Purebred Arabian action was a 1600m handicap and, having already ridden a double on the card, Bernardo Pinheiro exuded confidence aboard Naser Askar’s Zafaranah, saving ground on the inside rail on the home turn and, when the gap opened, staying there, the pair leading inside the final 125m to win cosily.

Saddled by Musabbeh Al Mheiri, the 5yo mare has now won three of her eight starts, including twice over this course and distance. On just her second career start, local debutante Ma’Aly Al Shahania allowed her 11 opponents short shrift in the opening 2200m maiden, Bernardo Pinheiro in the saddle for Liwa Stables and their resident trainer Mohamed Daggash.

The 4yo filly’s sole previous outing, in her native France, was when only eighth in a 1600m conditions contest at the beginning of October at Toulouse. It was a similar story in the following 1400m maiden, this time O’Shea and AF Rami always in control having hit the front with about 325m remaining.

The pair were soon clear with the race in safekeeping. Saddled by Ernst Oertel for Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda, the homebred 6yo entire was having just his second racecourse appearance having finished third, 432 days ago, on debut over 1400m on the dirt track at the iconic Meydan Racecourse. An hour later, owner and trainer were celebrating a double, this time combining with the stable’s apprentice, Marcelino Rodrigues to land the lesser of two 1600m handicaps, AF Rasam just clinging on to deny Eyjabi.

Another Al Nabooda 6yo homebred entire, it was a fourth career victory, all on the Abu Dhabi turf, and second over 1600m. For horses in private ownership, a 1400m handicap was won in determined fashion by Bant Al Emarat, saddled by Qaiss Aboud and a first ever UAE winner for Saif Ahmed Hareb Mohammed Al Otaiba. Previously a maiden after a dozen starts, not even having finished in the first three, the homebred 5yo mare was probably never headed under Pinheiro, running on gamely to complete a double for the jockey.


Race 1. Ma'Aly Al Shahania
Race 2. AF Rami
Race 3. Bant Al Emarat
Race 4. AF Rasam
Race 5. Zafaranah
Race 6. Nibras Passion