Dubai: Shamaal Nibras rolled back the years to post an emphatic victory in the Jebel Ali Classic (Silver Jubilee) Sponsored by Shadwell, the feature race of the final meeting of 2018-2019 UAE racing season at Jebel Ali Racecourse.
Now in his fifth season in the UAE, the 10-year-old looked younger than his age may suggest, when hitting the front at 300m mark under jockey Pat Dobbs and running on strongly to defeat Bochart, the mount of Richard Mullen, by a comfortable margin of two-and-a-quarter lengths.
Although retirement is certainly an option for the veteran of 56 starts, EERC spokesman Justin Burne hinted at Shamaal Nibras staying in training with former champion trainer Doug Watson and coming back for the next season.
“He’s still winning races, so it is something worth considering,” said Burne. “I’ll have a chat with the syndicate members before we decide. But for the moment I think we just want to enjoy another great win by a horse that has given us so many special moments.”
I’m very pleased for the owners and the horses. It’s not often that you see a 10-year-old winning like that. It will be nice to go out on a win, his 10th overall. But he’s a nice horse and a real star for the stable.
Shamaal Nibras was winning the Jebel Ali Classic for the second time since 2017. But the biggest win of his colourful career came in 2018 in the Jebel Ali Mile.
Watson felt that it was nice to send a horse to retirement on the back of a big win, but left it up to EERC to take a decision.
“He broke well today unlike the last time when he broke a little slow,” said the Red Stables boss. “He’s a 10-year-old, but doesn’t show it.
“Adam McLean rides him out in the morning and does a great job with him. I’m very pleased for the owners and the horses. It’s not often that you see a 10-year-old winning like that. It will be nice to go out on a win, his 10tth overall. But he’s a nice horse and a real star for the stable.”
Meanwhile Brazilian jockey Elione Chaves, who is based in Sweden, took out the Beam Group of Companies handicap aboard the Musabah Al Muhairi-trained Gavroche.
The winner came home a length and a half clear of Cape Of Eagles, ridden by Antonio Fresu, with Adidity and Sadro Paiva a neck back in third.
“I ride him every day, he’s a very easy horse to ride in a race,” said Chaves. “He always gives 100 per cent.
Commenting on his stint with Oasis 1 Stables, the Brazilian said: “It’s been a very nice season, I hope to come back for the next season.”
Jebel Ali Sprint specialist High On Life bounced back to his winning ways when winning the Commercial Bank of Dubai Condition event under Royston Ffrench, while the Simon Crisford-trained Craving posted a second victory of the season at the course, in the School Transport Services handicap.