ABU DHABI // A horse having a first run at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club certainly lived up to his name last night.
The appropriately named Canwinn prevailed in a photo finish from Musafer and Encipher in the concluding thoroughbred handicap to give the trainer Dhruba Selvaratnam and jockey James Doyle a second winner of the week.
The pair were successful on United Color in the US$120,000 (Dh440,760) handicap at the Dubai World Cup Carnival meeting at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday.
"It has been our worst season and it is nice feeling to get a Carnival winner … and a second tonight," Selvaratnam said.
"Canwinn has run some good races in defeat both at Jebel Ali and Meydan. It was his first race in Abu Dhabi and we quietly fancied his chances. He had to come from widest of the 14 runners yet he did well to win."
Antonio Murgia led on Encipher in the final 50 metres as Musafer under Ted Durcan and Doyle came with late runs to provide the most exciting finish of the six-race card.
Richlore came from last to first to give Ernst Oertel and Tadhg O'Shea their only winner of the night from his entries in four of the six races. The winner took Oertel's tally to 30 and level with Ali Rashid Al Raihe on the UAE trainers' leaderboard, and it was a 24th victory for O'Shea as he extended his lead over Wayne Smith to four in the jockeys' championship.
Richlore was slow out of the gates and trailed the field until the half way mark of the 1,600m trip.
O'Shea made progress as they approached the final bend but had to work all the way from behind a wall of horses to get her in front 25 metres from the finish line to clinch the prize in the Conditions race for fillies and mares.
"She was slow to get out of the gates and I had to switch to plan B very quickly. She picked up well though and delivered when it mattered," O'Shea said. "She has a lot of ability and has now won three of her six starts. She'll be a very nice filly for next season."
Oertel was disappointed he did not get into the winner's enclosure more than once. "I had a bad day but even on a bad day to have a winner was some consolation," he said.
"We missed out on a winner in the opener when Gali Rich was left too much to do after a slow start and I was wondering how Richlore won after she too was slow to get out of the gates.
"She had to wait for the gaps to appear and she did it very nicely at the end. She could have won much easier. But that's how this game is. You can't have good days all the time."
Gali Rich had to come from a long way behind after a slow start on his racecourse debut.
The five year old made a strong effort in the final 100 metres but the winning post came too soon as Tha'Er under Carlos Sanchez stayed on to win the race from Sogan ridden by Patrick Dobbs.
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