Dubai: Trainer Rashed Bouresly and jockey Fabrice Veron combined to win the feature event on Friday afternoon’s Jebel Ali card with Hawa Bilady breezing to the finish in the 1200m Conditions event sponsored by Shadwell Farm.
The race brought together a tough divisional field of three-year-olds with the Shanghai Bobby colt producing a career-best effort to win for the very first time on his fifth start. Hawa Bilady was third over course and distance run at the hill on his only Jebel Ali run in January, but Veron made sure to avoid a repeat in awaiting for the right moment to unleash his partner.
Ridden in the rear of the field that raced to the pace set by Satish Seemar’s Richard Mullen-driven No Limits, Veron started to push 500m out and the pair made quick progress to work their way to the front. With 100m left to run, Hawa Bilady was firmly in command with only Salem Bin Ghadayer’s Rare Ninja chasing him until the end.
Hawa Bilady and Veron won with a length and-a-half to spare from Rare Ninja, the ride of Royston Ffrench. Third in, a further 2.75l behind, was Antonio Fresu on the Seemar schooled Waqet.
“It was his fifth attempt and he’s proven all along that he’s a good horse. It was just a matter of when he would step up and he has done that today and delivered a very good win,” Abo Bakr Al Hefnawy, the Racing Manager for owner-trainer Bouresly, told Gulf News.
Seemar and Fresu were on target in the 1800m handicap that followed with Irish Freedom, who thumped the opposition to win by 8.25l from stable companion Law Of Peace with Harry Bentley aboard.
It was a second success for Fresu, who got the afternoon underway with victory in the only Purebred Arabian contest of the card, a 1400 m handicap that was won by Eric Lemartinel’s Maqam.
Doug Watson enjoyed a double early on the card with Dangerous Thought and Lytham St Annes, winning their 1400m and 1200m handicaps under Sam Hitchcott and Pat Dobbs, respectively.
Ali Rashid Al Rayhi and Sandro Paiva scored in the penultimate race on the card - a 1400m maiden with Falsehood, while Helal Alalawi and apprentice Abdul Aziz Al Balushi won the card closing 1600m handicap with Zorion.
- The writer is a senior sport journalist based in the UAE