x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Trainer Saleha Al Ghurair completes a double at Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club

MH Areeb forces a dead-heat in the Ruler of Sharjah Cup to give debutant trainer great debut.

The Ruler of Sharjah Cup race between Al Waqqad, left, and MH Areeb ended in a tie. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
The Ruler of Sharjah Cup race between Al Waqqad, left, and MH Areeb ended in a tie. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

SHARJAH // The final meeting of the season in Sharjah yesterday proved to be a truly memorable one for the trainer Saleha Al Ghurair who not only saddled her first winner when Jose Santiago won on MH Thirteen in a 1,700m maiden, she then saw her MH Areeb force a dead-heat in the Ruler of Sharjah Cup.

The track's biggest race of the season, the 1,700m Ruler of Sharjah Cup, provided a thrilling finish with MH Areeb and Daragh O'Donohoe appearing to have been collared on the line by Adrie de Vries on the Tony Manuel-trained Al Waqqad.

However, the judge could not separate them to the delight of Al Ghurair, who earlier saw her MH Thirteen lead in the dying strides and said: "What an amazing afternoon; to get my first winner and then share the spoils in the big race. It is brilliant and more than we could have hoped for."

MH Thirteen was also a first UAE winner for the jockey Santiago.

Mawared El Medam prevailed in a photo finish in the opening 1,200m maiden, denying the fast finishing Sharis in the process.

Gerald Avranche rode the winner for fellow Frenchman Eric Lemartinel and the jockey said: "Assuming she took to the dirt we thought she would be hard to beat as this was much easier than the races she has contested at Abu Dhabi."

The Irish apprentice Marc Monaghan continues to impress and took his seasonal winning tally to eight when driving AF Mursid to victory in a 1,700m handicap for the trainer Gill Duffield.

Musabah Al Muhairi topped the trainers' table after Tagseed made all under Paul Hanagan to win the only thoroughbred race on the card, a 1,200m handicap, to provide the trainer with his 32nd winner of the season. The handler said: "We have enjoyed a great season but I must admit that was a bit of a surprise; we thought Special Boy was our main hope!"

The final race at the track this season was the longest race on the card, the 2,700m Sharjah Marathon Handicap and Harry Bentley landed the spoils on Laahaq for the trainer Majed Al Jahouri.

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