Friday’s third meeting of the new season at Al Ain was highlighted by a 1400m handicap, the final of the seven races and won in gritty fashion by Gold Silver who responded to the urgings of Sandro Paiva to hold off the challenge of Heros de Lagarde.
The latter was a persistent challenger throughout the final 300m after Paiva’s mount hit the front but never really looked likely to get past the determined winners, trained at Sharjah by Ibrahim Aseel for Ziad Galadari.
By clinging on grimly, Galadari’s entire 5yo denied both jockey Antonio Fresu and trainer Ibrahim Al Hadhrami a treble, in doing so, registering a third career success after a dozen starts.
His previous two victories were in a 1000m maiden here at Al Ain, on just his second start, in January 2020 and six weeks later in a 1200m Sharjah handicap.
For horses in private ownership, the curtain raiser, a 2000m handicap, produced a thrilling finish with AF Mahzamy able to fight off Hamaan Al Jasra but then denied in the final strides by Dream De Montjoi, delivered with a perfectly timed challenge by Antonio Fresu in the colours of Nasir Askar for Musabbeh Al Mheiri.
Ten went to post for the only Thoroughbred race on the card, a 2000m maiden in which half of the field held every chance entering the final 100m before Ray Dawson, sporting the silks of Khalifa Saif Rashed Al Maqoodi, delivered Anizzah to snatch victory, the pair leading in the final 25m for Ahmad bin Harmash.
For 3yos, a 1600m maiden proved the perfect opportunity for SS Izz Dubai to make a winning debut under a positive ride from Antonio Fresu, completing a double, with the pair probably never headed for Ibrahim Al Hadhrami who trains the colt for Ahmed Saeed Al Mazrouei.
Very few ever threatened in a second 1600m maiden, which attracted a capacity field of 15, with Omani apprentice Abdul Aziz Al Balushi appearing supremely confident throughout aboard Naser Askar’s Sattam Muscat, completing a quick double for Al Hadhrami as well as a brace for the owner.
For horses foaled in the UAE, a 1400m maiden was won in dramatic fashion by Zainhum who was virtually last entering the long straight before powering home over the final 300m under Fernando Jara, the pair snatching what had appeared a most unlikely victory. Jara was riding n the colours of Saif Asheer Al Sulaiman Al Mazrouei, celebrating his first winner of the season whereas trainer Abubakar Daud was doubling his tally for the campaign.
A second 1400m maiden followed and a capacity field of 15 faced the starter but from a long way out only one really mattered with apprentice Marcelino Rodrigues making every post a winning one aboard AF Hazem for Ernst Oertel and Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda., partnering his first UAE winner at the fifth attempt.