Antonio Fresu bagged the two feature prizes – the Group 3 Al Ruwais and the Listed Abu Dhabi Triple Crown Round 1 – for two trainers in the capital on Thursday.
The Italian powered RB Kingmaker to victory in the Listed race for trainer Helal Al Alawi before producing a strong late run onboard Namrood to give Musabah Al Muhairi the Group 3 prize.
RB Kingmaker tracked the leaders and led on the home stretch to win by seven-and-a-half lengths from stable companion Sincerely under Richard Mullen.
“Obviously we have to be very pleased with that and both have run well. They are two nice horses and we were quite hopeful,” Al Alawi said.
Making his turf debut, the Baseq Al Khalediah colt finally won having finished third on debut and runner-up on his second appearance. He boosts his form figures to 321.
“He had run well twice on dirt but you never know when they switch surface,” Fresu said.
“He will improve again because he was very green when we hit the front and will have learned plenty.”
Namrood bagged his biggest career prize and his second career victory. He raced closely behind the bunch of seven runners before bursting through to the front in the final 50 metres to beat Maahir by half-a-length.
“He has always shown ability and the 1,200m on turf has really suited him. He travelled well and then quickened so it was a very good performance in a tough race,” Fresu said of the six-year-old son of General.
Tadhg O’Shea also recorded two winners, bagging the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Gold Cup onboard Ernst Oertel’s AF Maqam in the silks of Emirati owner-breeder Khalid Khalifa Al Naboodah.
O’Shea completed the double on Bhupat Seemar’s Lake Causeway, who finally ended his maiden tag after three years and 21 races.
5pm: Wathba Stallions Cup – Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (Turf) 2,200m
Winner: AF Kayed, Connor Planas (jockey), Helal Al Alawi (trainer)
5.30pm: Wadi Shees – Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m
Winner: RB Stryngs Attached, Adrie de Vries, Fawzi Nass
6pm: Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club Gold Cup – Prestige (PA) Dh125,000 (T) 1,600m
Winner: AF Maqam, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel
6.30pm: Arabian Triple Crown Round-1 – Listed (PA) Dh230,000 (T) 1,600m
Winner: RB Kingmaker, Antonio Fresu, Helal Al Alawi
7pm: Al Ruwais – Group 3 (PA) Dh300,000 (T) 1,200m
Winner: Namrood, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi
7.30pm: Wadi Ghalilah – Maiden (TB) Dh80,000 (T) 1,400m
Winner: Lake Causeway, Tadhg O’Shea, Bhumat Seemar