By Duane Fonseca
Brazilian jockey Bernardo Pinheiro might have pinched himself in disbelief Friday night at Al Ain after riding a first hat-trick on UAE soil a day after winning his first ever Group race in the Emirates at Meydan.
The 24yo rider, who won the PA Group 2 Bani Yas with the Khalifa Al Neyadi schooled Jayide Al Boraq, punched hard from the saddle riding winners for three different trainers at Al Ain. Mohammed Hussain, Qaiss Aboud and Mohammed Daggash all benefited from Pinheiro, whose hard riding helped him leapfrog many far more experienced riders to a joint share in the UAE Jockeys’ Championship rankings.
He is currently part of a three way tug at the top with defending champion Tadhg O’Shea and Sam Hitchcott, the other two, who like him, have six wins to show for their efforts.
Daggash was the pick of the trainers at Al Ain Friday winning a double courtesy Pinheiro and Fernando Jara.
Pinheiro’s first success came on the back of the Daggash trained Dalil De Carrere in the Wathba Stallions Cup for Private Owners Only handicap over 2000m. It was the opening race on the card and Dalil De Carrere finished with five and a quarter lengths to spare from Dassan Da, with AF Mozhell a further four and a quarter back.
Pinheiro then won race three a PA Maiden over 1600m with Hussain’s Pharitz Al Denari and completed his scoring for the night on Aboud’s AF Lewaa in a 1000m maiden that brought the curtains down on the seven race card.
Daggash’s second success of the night was achieved with the Jara ridden ES Nahawand, who only just managed to fend off the challenge of the Ibrahim Al Hadhrami trained and Szczepan Mazur ridden Pharitz Dubai by a short head in the 1400m handicap, which was easily the most hard fought race of the night. Placing third, a further neck was Abdallah Al Hammadi’s Opera with Connor Beasley up.
Al Hammadi also scored on the night with the Jesus Rosales piloted Oss who comfortably picked up his first career success in the 1600m maiden on what was his second career start.
Aforementioned Group 2 Bani Yas winning trainer Al Neyadi triumphed for a second straight night when winning the 1000m maiden with AF Almajhaz, dispatched under apprentice rider Abdul Aziz Al Balushi, who picked up a second win of the season in the process.
Salem bin Ghadayer and Xavier Ziani partnered to land the only Thoroughbred contest on the card, a maiden run over 2000m with Miracle Maker. The 3yo Paynter colt looked solid on paper and delivered the goods on his eighth career start in style with a six and a quarter length success ahead of Ahmad bin Harmash’s Anizzah with Jara up. A further 11 lengths back in third was Ali Rashid Al Rayhi’s Sand Warrior with Sandro Paiva in the saddle.