Saif Al Balushi and Khalifa Al Neyadi celebrate double at Abu Dhabi’s second meeting

UAE champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea takes his winning tally to double figures

Saif Al Balushi on Adleh, near side, wins from Tadhg O’Shea and AF Motaghatres at Abu Dhabi on  November 17, 2022. - ERA
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Tadhg O’Shea claimed his 10th winner of the new season in Abu Dhabi’s second meeting on Thursday to open up a lead over Pat Dobbs.

O’Shea is bidding for an 11th UAE jockey’s championship title and took the second race when he made all on the Ernst Oertel-trained AF Thayer in the silks of Khalid Khalifa Al Naboodah.

He could have added to his tally, if not for the Omani rider Saif Al Balushi, who produced late runs to pip the Irishman close to the finishing line while completing a fantastic double for trainer Khalifa Al Neyadi.

Al Balushi, on Shoja’a Muscat, took up the running from the 200-metre pole and kept on well to win from O’Shea and AF Motaghatres by two and-a-half lengths.

The Omani returned to the winner’s enclosure 30 minutes later when he brought home Adleh in the final 100m to win from O’Shea and AF Alsarem by three-quarter length.

Shoja’a Muscat was winning on his third start of the season and Adleh on his second, after finishing fifth on the dirt at Sharjah.

“We always bring our horses with the hope of winning and tonight was one of those good days,” Al Neyadi said after saddling his third winner of the season.

“I think they have both benefited from their previous outings. Adleh ran a very good race in defeat at Sharjah and we quietly fancied his chances. Saif rode two good races for us.”

Irfan Ellahi got one across for the season when Jean van Overmeire steered JAP Ytwaad to victory in the opener. Patrick Cosgrave brought home Reem Baynounah to give the debut season trainer Nisren Mahgoub a dream start, the first winner from his first runner.

Royston Ffrench produced a strong late run on Salem bin Ghadayer’s Mordin to run away a comfortable winner over Al Qaqaa by four and-a-half lengths to take the solitary prize for the thoroughbreds.


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

Winner: JAP Ytwaad, Jean van Overmeire (jockey), Irfan Ellahi (trainer)

5.30pm: Al Khari – Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,200m

Winner: AF Thayer, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel

6pm: Al Qor – Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner: Reem Baynounah, Patrick Cosgrave, Nisren Mahgoub

6.30pm: Wathba Stallions Cup – Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,600m

Winner: Shoja’a Muscat, Saif Al Balushi, Khalifa Al Neyadi

7pm: Al Badiyah – Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 2,200m

Winner: Adleh, Saif Al Balushi, Khalifa Al Neyadi

7.30pm: Al Hayl – Handicap (TB) Dh80,000 (T) 2,200m

Winner: Mordin, Royston Ffrench, Salem bin Ghadayer

Updated: November 17, 2022, 4:34 PM