Owner Khalid Khalifa Al Naboodah racked up his 300th winner on Saturday and then celebrated the milestone by claiming the Ruler of Sharjah Cup.
AF Lamia sealed the milestone in the opener and AF Kal Noor completed the Al Naboodah team's celebration with Tadhg O’Shea and Ernst Oertel, the jockey-trainer partnership, at Sharjah Equestrian Club.
AF Kal Noor won the Dh250,000 Ruler’s Cup by five and-a-quarter lengths from the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed’s Al Asayl Stables pair Taajer and Maqam a further four and-a-quarter lengths in third.
“I couldn’t have wished for a better moment to celebrate a milestone,” Al Naboodah said of the double celebration on the day.
“To reach 300 winners, which I wasn’t aware until someone whispered it to me after the race, and then win the prestigious trophy like the Ruler of Sharjah’s Cup is another happy moment I’ll cherish for a long time.
“Of course, we couldn’t have achieved such good results without a wonderful team. This milestone is for all to celebrate as a team.
“This horse won his last race at Jebel Ali by more than 15 lengths and today he proved what a good horse he is with victory against some strong horses from strong stables.”
O’Shea sent RB Kal Noor to the front straightaway and they got only stronger as they went further, chased home all the way by Jesus Rosales atop Taajer.
“Khalid had this horse in high regard and he’s won a good race,” O’Shea said of the five-year-old.
“Mentally, this horse got a little to learn. He’s won very well at Jebel Ali and was very good on the dirt, so we had him prepared for this race and, thankfully, it payed off.”
O’Shea had earlier steered AF Lamia to victory in the opener to bring the triple century for the Emirati owner-breeder.
“I hope the winners will continue to flow for me,” Al Naboodah said jokingly when asked of reaching the 300-milestone.
“But look, I enjoy watching every horse of mine and celebrate every horse that I have bred to be a winner. It was a good milestone to reach for me and my excellent team I have, and hopefully the winners will keep coming.”
The double at the meeting took Al Naboodha’s tally to 29 for the season and six five clear of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid in the UAE owner’s championship table.
The Al Naboodah-Oertel-O’Shea combination narrowly missed-out on another winner when Irfan Ellahi’s Jap Al Afreet, under Elione Chaves, edged out AF Taghzel in a photo half hour later.
Bernardo Pineiro rode a double for two different trainers. The Brazilian guided Elise Jeane’s MH Tawag to victory in the third race and took the concluding handicap on Eric Lemartinel’s RB Grynade.
Ali Rashid Al Raihe’s Skygazer, under Sandro Paiva, took the solitary prize that was on offer for the thoroughbreds.