O’Shea and Fresu enter final stretch in battle for UAE jockey’s title

The two riders are locked on 51 winners each with a month of the season to go

Tadhg O'Shea wins the Emirates Skywards Maiden on Zero To A Hundred at Meydan race track, Dubai, in Novermber 2021. Cedric Lane for The National
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The UAE jockey’s championship race is reaching a climax as the season moves into the home stretch, beginning with Meydan’s non-Dubai World Cup Carnival meeting on Thursday.

With 14 race meetings left, including the Dubai World Cup on March 26, nine-time UAE champion Tadhg O’Shea and Antonio Fresu, bidding for his first championship crown, are locked on 51 winners each. The season culminates at Al Ain on April 1.

O’Shea has six rides in the seven-race Meydan card, while Fresu is booked in all races.

The Graduate Stakes, a 1,600-metre conditions race on turf, restricted to horses sold at ERA Racing In Dubai Sales in the past two years, is the official feature prize on the night.

Bhupat Seemar, who leads the UAE trainer’s championship title race on 38 winners, five ahead of defending champion Doug Watson, is double-handed in the race with Law Of Peace, the choice of O’Shea, and Bosphorus, the mount of Dane O’Neill.

Racecard

6pm: The Pointe - Conditions (TB) Dh82,500 (Turf) 1,400m

6.35pm: Palm West Beach - Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (T) 1,800m

7.10pm: The View at the Palm - Handicap (TB) Dh85,000 (Dirt) 1,400m

7.45pm: Nakeel Graduate Stakes - Conditions (TB) Dh100,000 (T) 1,600m

8.20pm: Club Vista Mare - Handicap (TB) Dh95,000 (D) 1,900m

8.55pm: The Palm Fountain - Handicap (TB) Dh95,000 (D) 1,200m

9.30pm: The Palm Tower - Handicap (TB) Dh87,500 (T) 1,600m

Twice a winner over the track and trip - and winner of a maiden in Abu Dhabi in middle of February last year - Law Of Peace appears to be the one to beat in the eight-runner contest.

“That was a very pleasing victory from Law Of Peace last week and this is an obvious next target but does come round rather quick,” Seemar said of the five-year-old Shamardal gelding.

“The season is drawing to a close, though, so it is certainly worth a go.

“Bosphorus won his only start for us, in a turf maiden, which was a nice surprise as we thought the 1,200m was not going be far enough. The extra 400m should suit him, we think.”

Fresu was aboard Law Of Peace last week when O’Shea was in isolation after he tested positive for Covid-19.

The Italian partners Musabah Al Muhairi’s Law Of Nature, a four-year-old Siyouni gelding who was victorious for his previous trainer, Helal Al Alawi, over 1,400m on the Jebel Ali dirt in November last year.

That maiden success was on his second outing since leaving Godolphin and Charlie Appleby.

“We hope he will be a nice new horse in the yard and this looks a good race to start him off. We should learn a lot about him,” Al Muhairi said.

Beverley Deutrom saddles three with Scots Pine and Richard Mullen perhaps the best chance. Sandro Paiva partners Visible Charm with Ronald Woodworth aboard the third runner, Oasis Charm.

However, Sultan Ali’s First Winter may prove the main danger to all, Ray Dawson in the saddle for Ahmad bin Harmash and arriving here after probably his best local outing when runner-up in a 2,000m turf non-carnival handicap 11 days ago.

Still to record a win in the UAE, after just four attempts, the five-year-old Dubawi gelding did win twice in Britain for Appleby and Godolphin in the summer of 2020, including over 1,600m on turf.

Updated: March 04, 2022, 7:55 AM
Racecard

6pm: The Pointe - Conditions (TB) Dh82,500 (Turf) 1,400m

6.35pm: Palm West Beach - Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (T) 1,800m

7.10pm: The View at the Palm - Handicap (TB) Dh85,000 (Dirt) 1,400m

7.45pm: Nakeel Graduate Stakes - Conditions (TB) Dh100,000 (T) 1,600m

8.20pm: Club Vista Mare - Handicap (TB) Dh95,000 (D) 1,900m

8.55pm: The Palm Fountain - Handicap (TB) Dh95,000 (D) 1,200m

9.30pm: The Palm Tower - Handicap (TB) Dh87,500 (T) 1,600m

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