By Duane Fonseca
Pat Cosgrave would have pinched himself at Abu Dhabi Saturday evening after landing both top events on the card: the PA Group 1 Emirates Championship and the Group 3 Abu Dhabi Championship for trainers Ahmed Al Mehairbi and Jaber Ramadhan respectively.
Both events were contested over a 2200m trip with Yas Racing’s Somoud taking the Purebred Arabian affair by a neck and GM Hopkins winning the only Thoroughbred contest on the card by a half length.
Despite it being a hard-gained victory Somoud ran smoothly under Cosgrave and triumphed by taking over from Jean de Roualle’s Rmmas in the final stages of the race to win by a neck. The Richard Mullen ridden Rmmas was a length and three fourths ahead of BF Mughader trained by Ibrahim Al Hadhrami and ridden by Shakir Al Baliushi.
GM Hopkins was ridden mid division by Cosgrave and started to progress 400m out taking the lead with 200m left to run and holding on comfortably with a half length to spare from Satish Seemar’s Seniority ridden by Mullen. Back in third, a further length behind, was Musabbeh Al Mheiri’s Muzdawaj with Antonio Fresu up.
Al Hadhrami might have missed out in the Emirates Championship with BF Mughader, but the Omani conditioner had already enjoyed a double by then courtesy of Szczepan Mazur, who won the PA Prestige UAE Arabian Derby by a massive four lengths on the back of Ihtesham. Zalman took second for Helal Al Alawi with Eric Lemartinel’s Dhafra third a further head behind.
Al Hadhrami and Mazur had earlier won the 1200m maiden with Ferdous, while Lemartinel enjoyed success in the PA Group 3 Arabian Triple Crown R3 where Fabrice Veron brought Basmah home three clear of Al Mehairbi’s Dagui Lotois, the ride of Fernando Jara, with Al Hadhrami and Mazur combining to take third with Omania, who was a further nose behind.
Defending UAE Champion Trainer and Jockey Ernst Oertel and Tadhg O’Shea enjoyed victory in the card ending 1600m conditions event with Khalid Khalifa Al Naboodah’s AF Al Bairaq.