Dubai: Jockey Fernando Jara is making it a pleasurable habit of winning the feature races around the UAE.
Less than 24 hours after capturing the Emirates Airline Stakes at Jebel Ali Racecourse, the Panamanian star landed the spoils in the Dh 200,000 Crown Prince of Sharjah Cup, the joint feature event at Saturday’s cracking card at the Sharjah Longines Racecourse.
Donning the famous green-and-yellow checked silks of Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Jara teamed up with the progressive Jawaal to win the 1,200 metre sprint in a convincing fashion.
Trainer Majed Al Jahoori’s four-year-old colt, who only seven days earlier was a narrow course and distance winner at Sharjah, broke well and was happy to chase the front-running Es Ajeeb till the final two furlongs.
At this stage, Jawaal appeared full of running and Jara let him do his thing and he sprinted strongly to the line for a one-length victory over Dhafra with Shawall a length and a half back in third.
“We knew he likes the track here as he showed last week,” said Al Jahoori, who is based at The National Stables. “We were confident he will run a good race which he did. He’s good over six and can also handle further, but being a four-year-old, we wanted to keep him over shorter trips and give him a chance to mature.
“Obviously, he’s shown us that he knows how to win but we will still take it one win at a time and see where we can place him in January. But yes, he’s a nice horse who has a lot of potential.”
Jara, who celebrated his 33rd birthday on Friday, took his tally of wins for the season to nine, with a good book of rides to follow at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club’s exciting final meeting of the year on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Royston Ffrench was the toast of Sharjah after partnering Tailor’s Row to a nail-biting half-length victory in the third running of the HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup for thoroughbreds. The winner resolutely held off a persistent Mudallel, the mount of Jara, with Montsarrat three-quarter lengths behind in third under Xavier Ziani.
Earlier, champion jockey Richard Mullen was seen at his best - driving Wakeel W’Rsan to a absolutely thrilling neck victory over Af Mukhrer, the mount of Sandro Paiva with Af Musannef staying on for third.
“My horse travelled very well, I always had a nice position throughout the race,” said Mullen. “I was sitting second or third on the rail and just waiting for a clear run.
“When I pulled him out he ducked a bit, he’s still a big baby. When he hit the front, he was looking around at the grandstand the big screen. But when he had to put his head down, he did and he battled really hard,” Mullen added.
“It’s great for me to have a winner but I’m really pleased for Jaci Wickham. She’s a fantastic trainer and does extremely well with what she’s got.”