Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 16 December 2019

ES Ajeeb seals back-to-back victories in Group 2 Baniyas at Meydan Racecourse

Jockey Hitchcott hails 'lovely horse' for a job well done after impressive win in Dubai

Jockey Sam Hitchcott guides Es Ajeeb to victory at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday night. Antonie Robertson / The National
Jockey Sam Hitchcott guides Es Ajeeb to victory at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday night. Antonie Robertson / The National

ES Ajeeb scooped the first Pattern prize of the season with back-to-back victories in the Group Two Baniyas for the Purebred Arabians at the Meydan Racecourse on Thursday.

Trained by Ibrahim Aseel and ridden by Sam Hitchcott, the strapping son of Burning Sand made every yard of the running to win from Aatebat Al Khalediah by three-quarter lengths.

“He’s a lovely horse and he came after a good first run in Abu Dhabi four weeks ago,” Hitchcott, who has been atop in all of his seven victories and in 10 of his 11 starts, said.

“He was slowing down a bit in the final 200 metres but he did the job well tonight. He’s a horse with a lot of natural speed and he outran the field at the half-way mark.”

Last year, ES Ajeeb held on to pip Eric Lemartinel’s Mawahib by a nose but this time the mare under Adrie de Vries was nine lengths behind in third in the 16-runner field.

George Villiers produced an exhilarating late run under the UAE champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea to win the top prize of the six races for the thoroughbreds.

O’Shea raced third last and detached from the leading group but the Dubawi colt, virtually flew from the 200m-mark to collar stable companion Bochart under the stable jockey Richard Mullen, at the post.

“He’s a horse with a lot of ability,” O’Shea said. “He was expected to be a [Dubai World Cup] Carnival horse.

“They went very quick, but look; I had a willing partner tonight. I had to sit at some stage of the race but all credit to my fellow. He knuckled down under the low weight. I told Satish (Seemar – the trainer) there no reason why he can’t make it as a Carnival horse this season.”

Seemar completed a double 35 minutes later when Connor Beasley steered Lady Parma to victory in the sixth race.

The Musabah Al Muhairi-trained Galaxy Road bagged the first of the six prizes for the thoroughbreds.

Galaxy Road missed the break but came from last to first under an enterprising ride from Antonio Fresu to beat Seemar’s Underwriter, with Mullen atop, by three lengths.

“He was very quiet tonight and probably sleeping when the gates opened,” Fresu said of the three-year-old Elusive Quality colt who was winning on his third start for the season.

Fernando Jara made all the running on Ali Rashid Al Raihe’s Al Modayar to take the next by a neck from another Seemar runner Commander.

Seemar was denied again in the next when Xavier Ziani made rode Gundogdu all the way in front to win from Cachao before the Zabeel trainer completed a double.

Al Raihe and Jara, the trainer-jockey, also completed a double on the night by taking the concluding handicap with Zaajel.

Updated: November 25, 2019 05:43 AM

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