Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 22 August 2019

Sam Hitchcott rides his way to treble at year-ending race in Sharjah

Jockey guides three winners, feature prizes for both thoroughbreds, handicap for horses rated 70 to 100, and for Purebred Arabians

Sam Hitcott guides ES Ajeeb to victory in the The Crown Prince Of Sharjah Cup on Saturday. Courtesy of Emirates Racing Authority
Sam Hitcott guides ES Ajeeb to victory in the The Crown Prince Of Sharjah Cup on Saturday. Courtesy of Emirates Racing Authority

Sam Hitchcott stole the spotlight in the year-ending meeting at the Sharjah Equestrian Club on Saturday.

He rode three winners that included the feature prizes for both the thoroughbreds, a handicap for horses rated 70 to 100, and for the Purebred Arabians, a race with Prestige status.

Hitchcott led a one-two finish aboard Mystique Moon for UAE champion trainer Doug Watson in the only race for the thoroughbreds, the Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup.

He then rounded off the six-race card by completing a double for Sudanese trainer Ibrahim Aseel atop ES Ajeeb, trouncing the 12-runner field by more than 14 lengths in The Sharjah Crown Prince Cup.

Hitchcott had earlier steered Ashton Tourettes to another convincing win by more than 11 lengths in the second race for the first of two winners for Aseel.

ES Ajeeb, a four-year-old colt by the speedy Big Easy, was racking up his fifth win in eight career starts to underline his status as the leading Arabian sprinter in the country.

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“He has been tried over the longer trips a few times but he’s best over this distance, and he ran a terrific race today,” Hitchcott said.

The jockey had some work to do on Mystique Moon, though. He travelled behind stable companion Pillar Of Society under Pat Dobbs before producing his challenge on the final bend to win by a length-and-three-quarter over the 1,700-metre trip.

It was the four-year-old gelded son of Shamardal’s second local start after finishing fourth at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai nearly three weeks ago. He also finished ahead of Pillar Of Society on that occasion.

The trainer-jockey partnership of Abdallah Al Hammadi and Gerald Avranche scored back-to-back victories with Hareer Al Reef and Kenz Al Reef in the third and fourth races respectively.

Saleha Al Ghurair, the only Emirati female trainer, celebrated her first winner for the season when AZ Dhabyan claimed the opener.

Updated: December 30, 2018 08:52 AM

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