Bhupat Seemar follows up Dubai World Cup double by landing UAE trainers' championship

Tadhg O’Shea rides Fall Of Rome to victory in Abu Dhabi to lift his Zabeel Stables boss to top of leaderboard

Tadhg O’Shea on Fall Of Rome pips Royston Ffrench and Benzema to win the fifth race at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. Photo: ADEC
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Bhupat Seemar lifted the UAE trainers' championship on Thursday night as Fall Of Rome’s victory at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club rounded off a sensational season for Zabeel Stables.

Seemar was still basking in the afterglow of last weekend’s Group 1 double – the $12million Dubai World Cup and the $2million Dubai Golden Shaheen – as he clinched his second trainers' title in three years since taking over from his uncle, Satish Seemar.

Tadhg O’Shea, who rode both Laurel River and Tuz at Meydan last Saturday, steered Fall Of Rome to victory in the first of the two races for the thoroughbreds to put Seemar one winner in front of Michael Costa, his closest challenger.

The trainers' championship race could have gone to the wire at Al Ain in tomorrow’s solitary race for the thoroughbreds had Costa’s Keffaf not been beaten into second place by Vagalame in the Listed Abu Dhabi Championship.

It was also a close call for Seemar and O’Shea as Fall Of Rome had his nose in front to pip Royston Ffrench and Benzema on the line 45 minutes earlier. Fall Of Rome’s success on the night has given Seemar an unassailable lead, meaning even if Costa pulls one back in the solitary race for the thoroughbreds at Al Ain on Friday, the Zabeel trainer takes the title as he has more second and third-placed finishes.

“That was a tight one in the end. Any one of the six or seven horses could have won and thankfully my fella came out on top,” O’Shea said.

“He'd been knocking on the door all year. He’s getting better with age. The horse is owned by a syndicate and that's what the whole racing game is about, bringing in the new generation.

“We're blessed to have a couple of good syndicates in the stables, and what gives us more joy than anything is even seeing the people that own the horses present at the racecourse. It's all about getting the next generation and moving forward. The more syndicates, the better.

“It’s an amazing season and thanks to Bhupat and the whole team at Zabeel. I must say from the drop of the flag back at the end of October, the horses have never missed a beat.

“I'm very fortunate to be getting the leg up on the majority of the horses. On many occasions, the hardest thing for me was to be in a great position and trying to pick the right ones.”

O’Shea is the champion jockey-elect, a title that will be confirmed once the season comes to its conclusion on Friday. Fall Of Rome was his 50th winner of the season and that took his all-time record in the UAE to 780.

“I’m very fortunate, blessed, and it’s been a remarkable year,” O'Shea added. “Last Saturday [Dubai World Cup meeting] was an amazing night and it still hasn't sunk in.

“It's just amazing how the racing world works. You're winning a $12million race last Saturday at Dubai World Cup for world-renowned Juddmonte Farms. This is a big race for people in our industry and tonight, we are doing it for the Initforthesun Syndicate. They're a group of fellas that came together, and this is the fun you're getting here.”

Seemar wasn’t in attendance in Abu Dhabi, but O’Shea said: “Bhupat's gone one ahead so hopefully we can get another one on the board tomorrow and win the championship outright rather than on a countback.

“Bhupat has been a great friend and a family friend for all those years. It was the icing on the cake to get Bhupat as the champion trainer. It's phenomenal.”


4.15pm: Sheikh Khalifa Bridge – Maiden (PA) Sheikh Khalifa Bridge Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m.

Winner: Nawar Al Khalediah, Marcelino Rodriguez (jockey), Qaiss Aboud (trainer).

4.45pm: Sheikh Zayed Bridge – Handicap for fillies and mares (PA) Dh 80,000 (T) 1,600m.

Winner: Maanar, Jules Mobian, Eric Lemartinel.

5.15pm: Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club Gold Cup – Prestige (PA) Dh 125,000 (T) 1,600m:

Winner: Al Laith, Sam Hitchcott, Ahmed Al Mehairbi.

5.45pm: Al Wathba Stallions Cup – Handicap (PA) Dh 70,000 (T) 1,200m.

Winner: Al Ghayyar, Marcelino Rodriguez, Ernst Oertel.

6.15pm: Mussafah Bridge – Handicap (TB) Dh 80,000 (T) 1,400m.

Winner: Fall Of Rome, Tadhg O’Shea, Bhupat Seemar.

7.30pm: Abu Dhabi Championship – Listed (TB) Dh380,000 (T) 2,200m.

Winner: Vagalame, Xavier Ziani, Salem bin Ghadayer.

8pm: Arabian Triple Crown Round-3 – Group 3 (PA) Dh 300,000 (T) 2,200m:

Winner: Tariq, Bernardo Pinheiro, Majed Al Jahouri.

Updated: April 04, 2024, 6:59 PM