Rashed Bouresly’s Shanty Star picked up his biggest career win by landing Sharjah’s feature – the Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup – on Sunday.
Ridden by Richard Mullen, the six-year-old son of Hard Spun took up the running on the second bend to stay on strongly and win from Anizzah and George Villiers by a length and-a-half and half-length.
The race went as planned for Bouresly as his second runner Sendeed, under Abdul Aziz Al Balushi, set the early pace that paved the way for Mullen to get a fine tow over the 1,700-metre trip.
Shanty Star was one of the most exposed runner in the 13-runner field. He had appeared three times already this season and shown improvement with every run in registering his career victory in the solitary race for the thoroughbreds in the six-race card at Sharjah.
Antonio Fresu, meanwhile, followed up Friday’s treble at Meydan with a double by taking the second race on the Purebred Arabians Muram for Jaber Bittar and the concluding handicap on top of Hamad Al Marar’s ES Abu Mousa.
The two winners took the Italian’s tally to nine, five behind the 10-time UAE champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea, who bagged the fourth race on Ernst Oertel’s AF Mouhayer.
Fresu rode contrasting style races for his two winners. He made every yard of the running Muram over the sprint distance of 1,200m and then raced almost at the rear before producing a late run on ES Abu Moussa to take the handicap over the 1,700m trip.
O’Shea on AF Mouhayer was never headed over the 2,000m fourth race. The opening prize of the meeting was won by Oman trainer Ibrahim Al Hadhrami’s Barghash with Ray Dawson in the saddle.
2.15pm: Longines DolceVita – Maiden (PA) Dh40,000 (Dirt) 1,200m
Winner: Barghash, Ray Dawson (jockey), Ibrahim Al Hadhrami (trainer)
2.45pm: Longines Record – Maiden (PA) Dh40,000 (D) 1,200m
Winner: Muram, Antonio Fresu, Jaber Bittar
3.15pm: Longines Elegant – Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 (D) 1,000m
Winner: AS Qoot, Saif Al Balushi, Khalifa Al Neyadi
3.45pm: Longines Conquest – Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 (D) 2,000m
Winner: AF Mouhayer, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel
4.15pm: Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup – Handicap (TB) Dh200,000 (D) 1,700m
Winner: Shanty Star, Richard Mullen, Rashed Bouresly
4.45pm: Longines Master Collection – Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 (D) 1,700m
Winner: ES Abu Mousa, Antonio Fresu, Hamad Al Marar