Dubai: The 2020-2021 UAE racing season kicked off at Al Ain on Thursday where course specialist Jayide Al Boraq, saddled by Khalifa Al Neyadi and confidently ridden by Bernardo Pinheiro, won the feature and concluding race of the day, the Zakhir handicap over five furlongs.
The winner scored by a length-and-a-half from Al Mobher, ridden by apprentice Abdul Aziz Al Balushi for trainer Ibrahim Al Hadhrami
A delighted Pinheiro said: “This horse just loves it here in Al Ain and the only time he was beaten on this course was over 1,800m.
“He has a lot of speed for a Purebred Arabian as he has shown consistently. It is great to get a winner on the board at the first meeting of the new season.”
The only thoroughbred race on the card, also a 1,000m handicap, produced dramatic action with half of the field threatening at some stage before Royston Ffrench conjured a telling burst of speed out of Lahmoom who shot to the front to win.
Off the track for 601 days, the winner, a four-year-old gelded son of Exchange Rate, was losing his maiden tag at the eighth attempt on his second start for Salem bin Ghadayer, having not been seen in public since early March 2019.
Stable jockey Ffrench said: “That was a good performance after such a long break and it is a great effort from the whole team to have him fit and raring to go.”
The curtain raiser for the season, a 1,400m maiden for private owners was dominated by Champion Owner Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda and his main trainer, Ernst Oertel, who saddled the first two home.
Winning jockey and UAE champion Tadhg O’Shea said: “That is the perfect way to start the season! She is a nice filly who should improve because she is still learning what is required.”