Issue 732

30 I SSUE 732 - T HURSDAY 15 A PRIL 2021 2000m here on a flat track would really suit him and it has. “It has been a great season and it is obviously nice to sign off with a double, who knows, it could yet be a treble!” The 1800m maiden, like the majority of races on the card contested by a capacity field of 15, was turned into a procession by Baaher who was either in front or placed second pretty much throughout the entire contest under Fabrice Veron, sporting the silks of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for Eric Lemartinel. The pair certainly turned for home in front and soon skipped clear with the race in safekeeping from at least 300m out, the homebred 4yo colt registering this initial success at the eighth attempt. His best previous effort, on his penultimate start, was when second over 2000m in a maiden here at Al Ain. Lemartinel said: “We were quite hopeful because we know he likes it here at Al Ain and he has done that very nicely. He ran here just last Friday but was in good form at home after that so we were happy to bring him back quickly and it worked out very well.” Owner and trainer were immediately celebrating a double, combining with Antonio Fresu who produced Mootahady to grab a thrilling last gasp victory in the following 2000m maiden for horses foaled in the UAE. Seemingly struggling in midfield, in a field of 15 that was always well strung out, at halfway, Fresu’s mount made stealthy, then relentless progress throughout the final 500m but still appeared to face a stiff task with Jara looking likely to complete doubles for himself and Daggash aboard AF Fakhama. However, in the final 100m, Jara’s mount was either tiring or getting lonely and had no answer to the late lunge of Mootahady, another homebred 4yo, this time a colt who was having his seventh start. His best previous effort was a close second in a 1200m maiden on the Abu Dhabi turf, his fourth start, in January. Lemartinel said: “Like the previous winner we were quite hopeful of a good run because both his previous Al Ain outings were promising runs, including when fourth just last week. “Like Baaher, he came out of that race fine and we were happy to come back. Both are nice young horses and hopefully have a bright future.” Tadhg O’Shea and Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda had long been confirmed as UAE Champion Jockey and Champion Owner respectively, but it was only after race five that Doug Watson was confirmed as Champion Trainer after an epic battle with Ernst Oertel. Dubai Canal Mootahady Baaher