Horse racing

Emirati Al Alawi caps National Day weekend with a brace

James Jose/Dubai
Filed on December 5, 2020
Hugo Lebouc rides Ghazwan Al Khalediah to victory in the Zakhir Purebred Arabian handicap at the Al Ain Racecourse on Saturday. — Emirates Racing Authority

Ghazwan Al Khalediah strode to victory in the Zakhir Purebred Arabian handicap at the races in Al Ain

Emirati handler Helal Al Alawi capped the UAE’s 49th National Day by winning a brace of races, including the feature, in the 15th meeting of the country’s horse racing season in Al Ain on Saturday.

Al Alawi saddled Ghazwan Al Khalediah to victory in the Zakhir Purebred Arabian handicap and then oversaw stablemate Dinar Al Khalediah’s win in the Al Khobaisi Purebred Arabian maiden, in the fourth meeting at the Al Ain Racecourse.

The mount of apprentice jockey Hugo Lebouc, Ghazwan Al Khalediah beat Shawali, trained by Majed Al Jahoori, by three lengths in the contest run over five furlongs. It was Ghazwan Al Khalediah’s fourth victory in 10 starts, with all four coming in the garden city and on dirt.

Moments later, Dinar Al Khalediah was the mount of Pat Cosgrave and the Irishman handed Al Alawi his second victory of the evening.

The lightly-raced nine-year-old notched his maiden win in three starts, emerging victorious by 5.25 lengths over Af Lezoom, the ride of Szczepan Mazur and conditioned by Musabbeh Al Mheiri.

The evening had begun with the Wathba Stallions Cup For Private Owners Only and the Ahmed Al Shemaili-trained Hazeem Al Raed, with Antonio Fresu onboard, won by 4.25 lengths over Muhaymin.

Faith And Fortune ran at a blistering pace and the rest of the 13-horse field in his wake as he emerged triumphant by an astonishing 12 lengths in the Al Jimi thoroughbred handicap, run over eight furlongs. Faith And Fortune, the five-year-old from Cityscape, was trained by Ali Rashid Al Rayhi and was ridden by Sandro Paiva.

The Al Qattara Purebred maiden, run over eight furlongs, was won by Only Smoke. Bernardo Pinheiro was on the mount and it was another victory by a big margin with Only Smoke ahead by 9.5 lengths over Ras Alhadd.

After Hugo Lebouc, another apprentice jockey tasted success with Saif Al Balushi guiding Af Ramz home in the Al Sarooj Purebred Arabian handicap over eight furlongs.

The final race of the evening and the holiday weekend saw eight-time UAE Champion Jockey Tadhg O’Shea pilot Af Mass to victory in the Al Markhaniya Purebred Arabian maiden, contested over 10 furlongs.

O’Shea increased his tally to nine wins in the jockeys’ championship, one ahead of Pinheiro.

Meanwhile, on Friday in Abu Dhabi, Messi scored a 3.5-length victory over Al Zahir in the Group 1 Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown, on turf, at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.

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