Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 16 December 2019

Double delight for Antonio Fresu in opening meeting at Al Ain

Italian rides two winners for two different trainers, takes tally to six wins in nine meetings

Dombra, ridden by Antonio Fresu, wins in Al Ain. Antonie Robertson/The National
Dombra, ridden by Antonio Fresu, wins in Al Ain. Antonie Robertson/The National

Antonio Fresu rode two winners for two different trainers in the opening meeting at Al Ain on Thursday.

The Italian bagged the solitary thoroughbred prize in the seven-race card on board Dombra for his retained trainer Musabah Al Muhairi and the fifth race atop MH Wari for Elisse Jeanne.

“A good start at Al Ain’s first meeting and a good start for the season for a new stable, hopefully I can continue to pick up winners,” Fresu said after taking his tally to six winners in nine meetings.

“I was with Erwan Charpy in my first three years in the UAE. He’s a good trainer and a good friend.

“I wanted a change and gain more experience, and got this opportunity to ride for Musabah. He’s got more horses and looking forward for a good season with him.”

Fresu raced prominently throughout the 1,000-metre sprint to steer Dombra to victory from Buelller (David Liska) and Rich And Famous (Royston Ffrench) by a length and-a-quarter and length respectively.

“Musabah has done a good job with Dombra in the mornings and tonight I did my job in the race,” Fresu said.

“He’s a tricky horse, he pulls hard, but nevertheless he did his job. This is only his third start locally and this distance suits him.”

Joining Fresu on the double was Szczepan Mazur. The Polish champion teamed up with the Omani trainer Ibrahim Al Hadhrami to win the third race on Duc De Faust and the concluding maiden atop newcomer Marmara XM.

“Duc De Faust has run consistently well in all his races and was winning his third prize and has been either second or placed third seven times in 15 starts,” Al Hadhrami said.

“This was his first start for the season and he won like a good horse he is. He’s a horse with the potential to improve further and win more races for us.”

Patrick Cosgrave got his first winner of the season in his 15th attempt. The Irishman on board Abdallah Al Hammadi’s Asslan Al Reef raced clear on the final 200m to win by more 11 lengths from AF Arrab under Tadhg O’Shea.

“It’s only his second start and he appears to be a horse that will improve with racing,” Cosgrave said of the Mahabb colt.

Connor Beasley atop Helal Al Alawi’s Bolereau took the opener and the seven-time UAE champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea took the fourth race on Ernst Oertel’s AF Yahawa.

Updated: November 14, 2019 10:50 PM

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