Dubai: ES Ajeeb could be one of the most versatile Purebred Arabians in recent times having posted victories over all five racecourses across the UAE, including his second at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday.
Bred and owned by Shaikh Abdullah Bin Majid Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club, the five-year-old son of Big Easy may not win in the prettiest of fashions, but he gets the job done, sometimes only just.
Twelve months ago he won the 1,400 metre Group 2 Bani Yas, the first Pattern race of the season at UAE racing’s headquarters, by a nose and on Thursday he repeated the feat with a hard-earned three-quarter-length victory over the highly regarded Saudi Arabia-bred Aatebat Al Khalediah.
It was a seventh career win for ES Ajeeb, all of which have come under jockey Sam Hitchcott, who clearly gets on very well with trainer Ibrahim Aseel’s stable star.
“He has to be my favourite Purebred Arabian and we knew he had improved from his return at Abu Dhabi,” said the sports-loving Englishman from Hungerford in Berkshire. “His natural speed is main attribute, but as gets older and matures, we may try him over 1600m but we would probably have to ride him more patiently.”
While Hitchcott’s boss Doug Watson and championship leader was surprisingly quiet at Meydan on Thursday night after sensationally sweeping the entire card of six races the previous fortnight at a Gulf News-sponsored race meeting, his nearest challenger, Satish Seemar, pulled off another notable victory with the very promising Lady Parma.
Seemar in fact would dominate the Longines Dolce Vita handicap over 1,600m, by saddling the first two past the line, with Zabeel stablemate Way Of Wisdom and jockey Richard Mullen chasing Lady Parma home.
Earlier Tadhg O’Shea picked up a nice spare ride from Seemar and delivered the goods aboard George Villiers in the featured Longines Master Collection Handicap, the richest race on the evening with a purse of Dh240,000.
“We always knew this horse had a lot of ability and he was a willing partner tonight,” O’Shea said. “The team always hoped he was a Carnival horse and this suggests he can be.
A 1,400m maiden restricted to two-year-old colts and geldings, the Longines Conquest V H P, was won by never-say-die Al Modayar for jockey Fernando Jara and trainer Ali Rashid Al Rayhi.
Jara said: “Credit to the horse because he really likes to fight and has shown a great attitude to win this. When challenged, he fought back very bravely.”