Plan works for AS Enjaz and jockey Silvestre De Sousa in Abu Dhabi Championship

The official feature at Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening was the Group 3 Abu Dhabi Championship, a 1,600-metre contest restricted to three-year-olds. It was won by AS Enjaz, losing his maiden tag in the process for trainer Musabah Al Muhairi and stable jockey Silvestre de Sousa, riding the horse for the first time.
Trainer Jaber Bittar, centre, pictured in November 2013, saddled two winners on December 21 at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, including one ridden by jockey Jesus Rosales, left. Lee Hoagland / The National
Trainer Jaber Bittar, centre, pictured in November 2013, saddled two winners on December 21 at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, including one ridden by jockey Jesus Rosales, left. Lee Hoagland / The National

Abu Dhabi // The official feature at Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening was the Group 3 Abu Dhabi Championship, a 1,600-metre contest restricted to three-year-olds.

It was won by AS Enjaz, losing his maiden tag in the process for trainer Musabah Al Muhairi and stable jockey Silvestre de Sousa, riding the horse for the first time.

“I was always reasonably happy during the race and my horse responded well when I needed him to,” De Sousa said. “He has done that nicely enough. I have no idea how good a race it was, but he did all we needed.

“It would be nice to think there is improvement to come.”

Elsewhere, Jaber Bittar was the man to follow in “The Classics”. He saddled Nawarat Al Reef to win the Abu Dhabi Fillies’ Classic before, 30 minutes later, his Meftah Al Reef landed the Abu Dhabi Colts’ Classic, both of which were run over 1,600m.

Jesus Rosales was in the saddle on Nawarat Al Reef, making only her second racecourse appearance after a promising third on her debut over 1,000m on the Sharjah dirt.

Struggling early on, she rallied to lead close to home to the delight of Rosales.

“She made a very good debut over a trip probably too short, the jockey said.

“She has more than coped with these different circumstances and, hopefully, is a filly with a bright future.”

Just 30 minutes later, trainer Bittar was celebrating a second “Classic” winner after Meftah Al Reef and Wayne Smith claimed the Abu Dhabi Colts’ Classic.

Never far off the early pace, Smith went for home early in the straight and the pair never looked likely to be caught.

“This is always a good yard to ride for,” Smith said. “They have plenty of nice horses, so you always know you have a chance. This fellow had already won on dirt at Sharjah, so he is clearly versatile.”

The official feature, the Group 3 Abu Dhabi Championship, like both “Classics” over 1,600m, was won by AS Enjaz, ridden by Silvestre De Sousa for his main employer, Musabah Al Muhairi.

The pair made virtually all the running, and De Sousa said: “The plan was always to be positive and it worked well. Every time I asked he found, and that was a good win.”

The only Thoroughbred race on the card, a 1,400m handicap, went to Royal Revival, a first winner of the season for apprentice Marc Monaghan, riding for his employer, Satish Seemar.

Elsewhere, Sam Hitchcott won the 1,600m maiden for Bakhit Al Ketbi aboard Barek W’Rsan and Eric Lemartinel combined with Gerald Avranche to land a 1,200m handicap.

sports@thenational.ae

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Published: December 21, 2014 04:00 AM

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