Tadhg O’Shea capped a busy weekend of four race meetings by landing the Ruler of Sharjah Cup for Purebred Arabians on Sunday.
It was the Irishman’s fifth winner over four days, with his success on AF Maqam taking his tally to 58 and 13 ahead of his closest challenger Antonio Fresu in the UAE jockey’s championship race.
AF Maqam’s victory also completed a double for trainer Ernst Oertel and the Emirati owner-breeder Khalid Khalifa Al Naboodah after Brazilian apprentice Marcelino Rodrigues landed the second race on AF Qadeh in Sharjah's final meet of the season.
The double took Al Naboodah’s tally to 33 to guarantee him a fourth UAE owner’s championship crown.
Drawn widest of the 10 runners, O’Shea worked his way up to settle behind Yas Xmnsor (Amur Al Rasbi) and Fadiah Al Wathba (Bernardo Pinheiro) before producing a strong run on the home stretch to win by a neck.
Ray Dawson also completed a double by taking the opener on Jaber Bittar’s Azzouz and the concluding thoroughbred handicap on board Ahmad bin Harmarsh’s Dubai Vision.
Jaci Wickham, the longest serving female trainer, celebrated her first winner of the season when Sam Hitchcott steered Mutefjr W'Rsan to victory in the third race.
Richard Mullen on Salem Al Ketbi’s Kadar bagged the remaining prize when he produced a strong late run from the back of the field to get the better of Winked and Shamakh.
2.45pm: Longines Master Collection – Maiden (PA) Dh40,000 (Dirt) 1,200m
Winner: Azzouz, Ray Dawson (jockey), Jaber Bittar (trainer)
3.15pm: Legend Driver Collection – Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 (D) 1,000m
Winner: Al Qadeh, Marcelino Rodrigues, Ernst Oertel
3.45pm: Dolcevita Collection – Handicap (PA) Dh40,000 (D) 2,000m
Winner: Mutafjr W’Rsan, Sam Hitchcott, Jaci Wickham
4.15pm: Sharjah Marathon – Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 (D) 2,700m
Winner: Kadar, Richard Mullen, Salem Al Ketbi
4.45pm: The Ruler of Sharjah Cup – Prestige (PA) Dh250,000 (D) 1,700m
Winner: AF Maqam, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel
5.15pm: Longines Record Collection – Handicap (TB) Dh40,000 (D) 2,000m
Winner: Dubai Vision, Ray Dawson, Ahmad bin Harmash