Sharjah Longines Racecourse staged its final meeting of 2020 on Saturday afternoon, saving the best to last, the only Thoroughbred contest, the HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup, concluding the card.
A 2000m handicap, it looked ultra-competitive on paper, but in reality very few of the 11 runners ever managed to get seriously involved with Edaraat making the running stalked by Tailor’s Row, a horse who normally blazes a trail. The latter snatched the initiative halfway around the home turn when he was immediately challenged by Mudallel and the pair duelled throughout the remaining 250m. It was only about 75m from home that Mudallel faltered, leaving Tailor’s Row to grab the prize under Royston Ffrench, riding for Salem bin Ghadayer and in the silks of Musab Abdulqader Mohd Al Rais.
A 6YO Street Cry gelding, this was his seventh career victory, fifth locally and fourth for Bin Ghadayer. He has now won at Sharjah, Meydan and Jebel Ali.
Al Jahoori and Jara are forming a fruitful association in these races and earlier combined to land a 2000m handicap for horses foaled in the UAE with Fandim for Al Wathba Racing. A 5YO homebred, the gelding was another recording a second career victory, in his case supplementing a course and distance maiden success on his fourth start last November.
he opening 1200m handicap went to Najem Al Rwasi, ridden by Fabrice Veron for Ahmed Al Shemaili and doubling his career tally on career start 15. A 6YO entire, the horse had posted his previous victory on his third career start, over the same track and trip, as well as for the same jockey, in February 2019.
A 1700m maiden produced what appeared a most unlikely winner when Harbh flew home from a most unpromising position under Pat Cosgrave. Trained by Ahmed Al Mehairbi for Saif Mohd Fan Abdulla Al Mehairbi, the 5YO mare had plenty of her 11 rivals in front of her entering the home turn, but, once in the short straight, finished with great purpose to snatch the spoils close home.
Also for horses foaled locally, a 1700m maiden developed into a duel between AF Mukhrej and Wakeel W’Rsan after the duo fought past early leader AF Mukhrej, who battled on gamely in third, leaving the home turn. Wakeel W’Rsan stuck his grey head in front about 150m out and kept responding to the urgings of Richard Mullen, riding in the colours of W’Rsan Stables for Jaci Wickham. A 5YO, he was losing his maiden tag at the ninth attempt and has also shown promise on turf at Abu Dhabi, so appears versatile.