Tadhg O’Shea crowned UAE champion jockey for 10th time after 'remarkable season'

Bhupat Seemar, Khalid Khalifa Al Naboodah bag trainers' and owners' titles

Tadhg O’Shea after winning on Al Ramz in Abu Dhabi’s final meeting of the season on Thursday, March 31, 2022. - ADEC
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Tadhg O’Shea and Bhupat Seemar were officially crowned the UAE champion jockey and trainer, respectively, at Abu Dhabi’s final and the season’s penultimate meeting on Thursday.

The Irishman was winning an unprecedented 10th jockeys' title while Seemar was celebrating his first title after taking out his licence in November, filling for his uncle Satish Seemar at the Zabeel Stables.

O’Shea completed a double to take his tally to 67 and extend his lead over Antonio Fresu to 10 ahead of Friday’s final meeting, a seven-race card in Al Ain.

He rode the Ernst Oertel-trained AF Ramz to victory in the third race and completed the double half an hour later on board Reem Baynounah for the Sudanese handler Mohamed Daggash.

O’Shea described sealing his 10th jockeys’ title, riding 67 winners and a first thoroughbred Group 1 winner at the Dubai World Cup as his greatest ever season.

He also thanked Oertel and Khalid Khalifa Al Naboodah, for whom he’s the retained rider, as well as trainer Seemar and the whole team at Zabeel Stables, where he is in his first year as stable jockey.

“I’m very fortunate to ride for two powerful stables, and numerically it’s my best season and I never had so many rides in a season,” the champion jockey said.

"It’s been an amazing year and the 10th championship is very special. I turn 40 in February and it gets harder every year. Antonio pushed me all the way. We managed to pull away in the last couple of weeks.”

O’Shea insisted he doesn’t set himself targets but looked forward to returning to the Zabeel Stables and riding again for Al Naboodah.

“Both stables have had an amazing season and they are going to finish first and second in the championship, which is great,” he added. “They had a good tussle throughout the season. It was one of those ‘pinch yourself’ seasons. I can’t believe it.

Dubai World Cup 2022 - in pictures

“Sometimes I think how many winners I have ridden because in my previous nine championship seasons I have ridden less than 50 winners. All that taken into account, it was a remarkable season.”

AF Ramz’s success also took Al Naboodah’s tally to 40 winners and a fifth UAE owners’ title.

The victory lifted Oertel’s tally to 40, seven behind Seemar, with the final meeting at Al Ain left, in which the South African has runners across six races.

“We had a good season and I can’t complain but I think we were a bit unlucky at times as we had a few injuries, including AF Alwajel [runner up in the Group 1 Dubai Kahayla Classic last year],” Oertel said.

“It could have been a bit better in terms of the number of winners but still the horses ran well. Second in the trainers' championship is not bad but we want to win.”

However, winning the owners' title for his main patron Al Naboodah was another success Oertel can take credit for.

The feature prize of the meeting, the Group 3 Arabian Triple Crown Round-3 was won by Helal Al Alawi’s Izadi Star under Bernardo Pinheiro.

The four-year-old Azadi colt made it two wins from his two local starts, having won the second round of the three-race series.

“He’s a real good horse with excellent cruising speed toward the finish,” the Brazilian jockey said.

“He was travelling well and I just bided my time in the early part of the race. When I asked him for his effort, he was flying. He’s a young horse and I would like to think he can develop into Group 1 level.”

Results

5pm Al Bithna – Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,200m

Winner Ibn Des Vialettes, Fernando Jara (jockey), Ahmed Al Mehairbi (trainer)

5.30pm Wathba Stallions Cup – Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner Gold Silver, Sam Hitchcott, Ibrahim Aseel

6pm Al Hayl – Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 2,200m

Winner AF Ramz, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel

6.30pm Al Qor – Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 2,200m

Winner Reem Baynounah, Tadhg O’Shea, Mohamed Daggash

7pm: Arabian Triple Crown Round-3 – Group 3 (P) Dh300,000 (T) 2,400m

Winner Izadi Star, Bernardo Pinheiro, Helal Al Alawi.

7.30pm Al Khari – Handicap (TB) Dh80,000 (T) 1,400m

Winner Hawa Bilady, Abdulaziz Al Balushi, Rashed Bouresly

Updated: April 02, 2022, 5:24 AM
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