x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Hammadi claims a thriller

There was a thrilling finish to the Listed Jebel Ali Sprint and it was Hammadi, trained by UAE Champion Trainer Doug Watson, who prevailed by a nose

There was a thrilling finish to the Listed Jebel Ali Sprint on Saturday and it was Hammadi, trained by UAE Champion Trainer Doug Watson, who prevailed by a nose from Frosty Secret, representing South Africa's Champion Trainer Mike De Kock with Frankie Dettori in the saddle. Fernando Jara made virtually every yard on the winner, who may just have been headed by the runner-up in the dying strides before fighting back to be in front where it mattered.

Watson was delighted: "That was a great performance and he has had to really battle hard. He has an awful lot of speed this horse but has shown real tenacity there when challenged." Jara went on to complete a double when Adi Selvaratnam's Alto Stratus won a maiden, like the sprint over the minimum five furlongs. Jara said: "It has been a good afternoon and I have enjoyed a lot of luck here at Jebel Ali this season."

Also in double form was trainer Erwan Charpy who saddled Calabash Cove to win the opening 1950m handicap under stable jockey Tadhg O'Shea with Richard Hills partnering Mutajammel to land the concluding mile handicap. Charpy said: "He [Calabash Cove] is a horse with a lot of ability but was lacking confidence. He has now won twice on the bounce and can hopefully keep improving." First season trainer Mubarak Bin Shafya was not to be outdone and he too saddled a brace of winners with stable jockey Ahmad Ajtebi winning the seven-furlong handicap on Blue Sky Basin, having earlier been denied on Moonquake by stable companion Military Power under Jesus Rosales. That was in a nine-furlong handicap.

Ajtebi said: "It has been a good season for me personally and for the yard as a whole." jsullivan@thenational.ae