For the second time in two races RB Burn had to settle for second best, this time pipped at the post by stable companion Darius Du Paon in the Group 3 Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup.
It was a good night all round for Al Asayl Stables trainer Eric Lemartinel who had a one-two-three finish with Hamza a neck away in third at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.
Hamza, under Jesus Rosales, set the pace over the 1,600-metre race until joined by RB Burn and Darius Du Paon in the last 50m as they flashed past the post. Tadhg O’Shea on Darius Du Paon prevailed by a short head over favourite RB Burn under Gerald Avranche.
“It’s a fantastic result for the Al Asayl and the whole team,” O’Shea said. “RB Burn was the horse to beat but he had to concede a big weight [4kgs] to all others and my horse put up his best effort.”
It was Darius Du Paon’s third win and biggest career prize in seven starts.
Like Darius Du Paon, Hawkesbury also landed his biggest career prize when returning an impressive winner in the Listed National Day Cup for thoroughbreds 30 minutes earlier.
The Satish Seemar-trained grey gelded son of Shamardal was stuck in the rails behind a wall of horses but fortunately a gap appeared for Pat Cosgrave to come through on the home stretch to win quite comfortably at the end.
“He got a good trip on the rails and does hang to the right. I presume it all worked out well for him under a good ride from Pat,” said assistant trainer Bhupath Seemar.
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With the stable jockey Richard Mullen choosing to ride the 10-year-old Eavesdropper, who finished 12th of the 16 runners, it provided Cosgrave his 13th winner of the season.
“Hawkesbury is a lovely horse and I reckon it was a tough choice for Richie, who didn’t get a run on Eavesdropper,” added Seemar.
“The horse has continued to improve and we have got all the respect for him and we’ll be looking to win more races.”
Cosgrave added: “He ran a very nice race the last time when he raced in Abu Dhabi three weeks ago. He was hanging a bit on the rails and I took a chance and the opening came.”
Satish Seemar saddled his second winner on the night when Mullen steered Extra Hope to clinch the Wathba Stallions Cup and deny O’Shea, who was on AF Mulhifa, a double.
Ernst Oertel, too, completed a double when Antonio Fresu made all on AF Sharesah to take the opener and Connor Beasley on ADF Maher held on to beat Hamares to clinch the concluding race.
Xavier Ziani also made every yard of the running to take the second race on Saifaldin Deeb’s Ghaleba.