Ameer Al Reef steals the show
Ameer Al Reef cruised to his second straight victory after Bibi De carrere colt held on very strongly in the concluding stages of the Dh80,000 PA Thoroughbreds Handicap which was contested over seven furlongs at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Sunday.
Naseem Al Reef came with a late run under Salima Al Taleei to take second and behind them came the mount of Richard Mullen, Farooq, to give Al Reef Stables’ handler Jaber Bittar a 1-3 finish. Public favourite Chick Flick, ridden by Tadhg O’Shea finished three quarters of a length fourth.
“I have been riding for the stables for the last few years and had good times with trainer Jaber Bittar,” said the Argentinean jockey Jesus Rosales who partnered the winner to glory.
“Ameer Al Reef is a nice colt and has been always going well. This is his second straight win of the season and he did in a very promising style. He relished the Abu Dhabi turf surface and there’s more to come from him,” he added.
Trainer Jaber Bittar who’s looking after the colt at the Al Reef Stables on behalf of its owner Shaikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan is making good grounds to settle second in the Abu Dhabi trainers’ championship, with Al Reef Stables third in the owners’ table.
Meanwhile, former British champion jockey Paul Hanagan rode his first winner of the new season on board Udabaa to lead a sweeping 1,2,3 finish in the distinguished blue silks of Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance.
Trained by Doug Watson at the Red Stables in Dubai, the four-year-old home-bred son of Al Haarth made every stride a winning one after the pack turned for home in the final stages of the 12 furlongs trip.
Trainer Jameel Salman teamed up with Xavier Ziani to claim his first winner of the season with Girl Powerr in the silks of Saeed Hadir Al Mazrooi. The third race was won by Raheq under Sam Hitchcott for Al Wathba Stables handler Majid Al Jahouri in the colours of Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
The partnership of top trainer Ernst Oertel and leading jockey Tahg O’Shea set the pace in race four which was gamely landed by Nemrah from stable-companion Richlore. Owner and trainer Ahmed Mohammed Al Mehairbi saddled Safir Bainuna to lead all the way under Harry Bentley in the Wathba Stud Farm Cup For Private Owners Only, PA Conditions event contested over a mile.