Saif Al Balushi leads Yas Xmnsor to Crown Prince of Sharjah Cup win

Road Bloc wins thoroughbred feature under Oscar Chavez on Wednesday

Saif Al Balushi on Yas Xmnsor won the Crown Prince of Sharjah Cup for Purebred Arabians in Sharjah on Wednesday, January 11, 2023. Photo: Adiyat Racing Plus
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Saif Al Balushi and Khalifa Al Neyadi teamed up with Yas Xmnsor to land the Crown Prince of Sharjah Cup, the feature prize for Purebred Arabians, on Wednesday.

The Omani jockey and the Emirati trainer also completed a double at the meeting that was rescheduled due to inclement weather on Saturday.

Al Balushi on Yas Xmnsor led group and held on despite a strong late challenge from Tadhg O’Shea on AF Marmuq to win the 1,200-metre sprint by three quarter lengths.

Al Neyadi’s Boraq El Medam, under apprentice Qais Al Busaidi, and Al Zafy, with Antonio Fresu in the saddle, finished third and fourth respectively.

Earlier, Al Balushi produced a well-timed run on Desert to pip Dane O’Neill and Maddah Al Reef to take the second race.

“He won three races in-a-row from 1,400m to 1,800m last season, and today he won over 1,200m. He’s versatile and good horse,” Al Neyadi said of the five-year-old son of Burning Sand.

“We fancied his chances. He was runner up twice and was third over the track and trip in his five starts this season. My other two runners [Boraq El Medam and Al Zafy] ran well to finish in the top four.”

The Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup, the solitary race for thoroughbreds and the other feature prize, was won by the Osama Refai-trained Road Bloc under Oscar Chavez.

A winner on his first start in the UAE and fourth in his next outing - both at Meydan - the five-year-old Street Sense gelding beta Julio Olascoaga’s Upper Class by a length and-a-half.

Richard Mullen, who won the opening race on board Irfan Ellahi’s JAP Al Afreet on Saturday before the remaining races were called off due to the bad weather, also completed a double.

The Englishman, on Salem Al Ketbi’s Kadar, edged out Patrick Cosgrave atop On Cue by three quarter length, the two finishing well clear of the rest in the handicap run over the 2,700m distance.

Results:

2.30pm: Dubai Creek Tower – Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 (Dirt) 1,200m; Winner: JAP Al Afreet, Richard Mullen (jockey), Irfan Ellahi (trainer)

3pm: Al Yasmeen – Maiden (PA) Dh40,000 (D) 2,000m; Winner: Desert, Saif Al Balushi, Khalifa Al Neyadi

3.30pm: Al Ferdous – Maiden (PA) Dh40,000 (D) 1,700m; Winner: Zajer Al Wathba, Fernando Jara, Jean-Claude Pecout

4pm: Palma Springs – Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 (D) 2,700m; Winner: Kadar, Richard Mullen, Salem Al Ketbi

4.30pm: The Crown Prince Of Sharjah Cup – Prestige (PA) Dh200,000 (D) 1,200m; Winner: Yas Xmnsor, Saif Al Balushi, Khalifa Al Neyadi

5pm: Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup – Conditions (TB) Dh200,000 (D) 1,200m; Winner: Road Bloc, Oscar Chavez, Osama Refai

Updated: January 11, 2023, 2:37 PM