Bernardo Pinheiro and Tadhg O’Shea began the first of four race meetings of the weekend by taking home five of the six prizes that were on offer at Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
The Brazilian reeled off a treble while O’Shea followed up his record five-timer on the capital’s track with a fine double, including the solitary race for thoroughbreds.
Pinheiro rode the winners for three different trainers. He took the opener on the Mohamed Daggash-trained Ma’Aly Al Shahania and completed the three-timer with victories on Qaiss Aboud’s Bant Al Emarat and Musabah Al Muhairi’s Zafaranah.
The three winners took Pinheiro’s tally to 23 for the season and up to fifth in the UAE jockey’s championship table.
Ma’Aly Al Shahania was an impressive winner of the 2,200-metre maiden for the Purebred Arabians on her UAE debut. It was only her second career start after a run in her native France.
O’Shea put more daylight between him and Antonio Fresu, his closest challenger for the jockey’s title. The double took his tally to 55, and 13 clear of the Italian.
He took the second race on Ernst Oertel’s AF Rami and the concluding thoroughbred handicap on top of Ismail Mohammed’s Nibras Passion.
“He’s a nice horse [AF Rami]. He’s been galloping well. He has not run for a long time, nearly for a year and-a-half. Ernst and his team had him in good shape and he would be a good horse for next season,” O’Shea
“He jumped and travelled well tonight, and hopefully, many more to come. He can go further in distance and was a very straightforward ride tonight.
“Nibras Passion has been knocking on the door, and Ismail Mohammed and his team had him in good shape for this race. They went a good gallop and he settled down well and picked up with a good turn of foot to win pretty well tonight.”