Silvestre De Sousa closing on Richard Mullen for UAE’s top jockey title

Silvestre de Sousa rode two winners at Sunday night’s penultimate meeting of the season at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club to close in on the UAE jockey championship leader Richard Mullen, but it was Rb Torch who was the most impressive winner on the seven-race card, humping top weight and making all under Tadhg O’Shea in the handicap (50-80) run over 1,400m.
Tadhg O'Shea rides Rb Torch to the win in the Hamdan Handicap on Monday night at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. Ravindranath K / The National
Tadhg O'Shea rides Rb Torch to the win in the Hamdan Handicap on Monday night at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. Ravindranath K / The National

ABU DHABI // Silvestre de Sousa rode two winners at Sunday night’s penultimate meeting of the season at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club to close in on the UAE jockey championship leader Richard Mullen.

The Brazilian won the second race on the Musabah Al Muhairi-trained Af Mathmoon and the fifth race onboard Da’Areen trained by Majed Al Jahouri to take his tally to 35 and move six behind Mullen with six meetings left, including the Dubai World Cup. It was Af Mathmoon’s second win in two weeks over the course and distance.

“He’s a smart horse and very pleased with his efforts, and running well again. He is still a big baby but he’s done well in both starts,” said De Sousa of the locally bred grey colt by AF Albahar.

AF Mathmoon won his first race by more than six lengths and last night had more than five lengths to spare over nearest challenger Wazn under George Buckell.

“He’s impressed us in both his starts but we still have to wait and see how he develops for the next season. Obviously he’ll be stronger and we’ll take one step at a time with him,” Al Muhairi said.

Mullen added one to his tally when taking the solitary prize for the thoroughbreds on the Satish Seemar-trained Royal Revival. They raced in midfield for most of the 1,400-metre trip before coming with a late challenge from the inside rail to clinch the 75-85 rated handicap by a neck from Sam Hitchcott on Make It Reel.

George Buckell, who tried to make all on Mushir, finished third, a length behind.

“It’s still a long way to go but it’s nice to be up there with the winners,” said Mullen, taking his Zabeel Stables tally to 32 wins.

“I am very fortunate and thankful that I got a stable that is in great form and it has been a pleasure working with them. It has been a fantastic season for me and long may it continue.”

Rb Torch was the most impressive winner on the seven-race card, humping top weight and making all under Tadhg O’Shea in the handicap (50-80) run over 1,400m.

“He is a very good horse and he is still growing up, mentally. Obviously, there is more to come but he is very exciting,” said O’Shea after the Th Richie colt notched up his third win in four starts.

“He probably should be unbeaten. His only time in defeat came, unfortunately, when a horse fell in front of him and he got too far back in the race that night [won by stable companion Abhaar].

“We still won our race with a very good horse in the shape of Abhaar. So they are the two best four-year-olds over this distance with little or nothing between them.”

apassela@thenational.ae

Follow us on twitter at @NatSportUAE

Published: March 8, 2015 04:00 AM

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