Ben Coen guides Bilhayl to victory in the Handicap Sprint Stakes at the Jebel Ali Racecourse on Saturday.
Following the electrifying start, Jebel Ali patron Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his resident trainer Michael Costa again stole the show on Saturday, securing a double, including the feature Mohaather Stakes sponsored by Shadwell.
This dominant success came close on the heels of sweeping five wins of the seven race-card in their season opener held on Nov.4.
Bilhayl initiated their winning streak in the Handicap Sprint Stakes sponsored by the Emirates Sprint Series (1000m), providing the duo with their ninth victory.
With Ben Coen firmly in the saddle, Bilhayl denied stablemate Laa Baas, the ride of Pat Dobbs, by a massive four-and-quarter lengths to clear the finish line smoothly.
Mersaal's victory in the Mohaather Stakes marked their tenth win, as Omani apprentice Qais Al Busaidi guided the horse to a strategic position off the pace set by Desert Safari. Mersaal surged ahead 400 metres from the finish line, grabbing a comfortable three-length lead over Sadaaty.
Mersaal was made to sit off the pace set by Salem Bin Ghadayer’s Desert Safari (Royston Ffrench) and asked for an effort at the 600-metres marker. And he delivered without hesitation, gobbling up the ground quickly to seize the initiative 400 metres out and run clear, chased home by Sadaaty, the ride of Coen, who was three lengths adrift.
Almoreb was a further length and a quarter behind in third for Musabbeh Al Mheiri and Bernardo Pinheiro.
“Happy with another perfect ending to the race meeting. Excited with the fans flocking to our racecourse as more than 10,000 people came to watch the race on Saturday,” said Mohammed Al Ahmed, general manager of Jebel Ali Racecourse.
“With every meeting, we are carrying forward with our plans to have a different entertainment concept, keeping the racegoers in mind.
“For the second meeting of our season, the theme was art as a part of supporting the community, and we chose the day as an art day.
“These features are aimed at providing a pleasant and enjoyable space for spectators to appreciate the races.”
Seven artists showcased their skills in the Garden area and kept the audience spellbound with their art.
“The decision to showcase art in the Garden area during the race days is a creative and inclusive approach. By involving artists from various backgrounds, the racecourse aims to engage with a wider audience and make the event more appealing to a diverse range of people.
“As a racecourse, Jebel Ali offers the best free family fun day, and we will make more efforts to guarantee that racegoers have the best entertainment both on and off the track,” he added.
In the 2yo Novice Stakes (1000m) sponsored by Al Shafar Investments, Bhupat Seemar's Mooder made an impactful racecourse debut, sealing a hard-earned one-length victory.
The race unfolded as a thrilling match race between Mooder and Turjman, piloted by Costa's jockey Coen. Rasas, the sole other contender in the three-horse field, finished two and a half lengths behind in third for Ahmad bin Harmash and Connor Beasley.
Harmash and Beasley continued their success in the card-closing 1600-metres Tobougg Corner Stakes sponsored by Jebel Ali Racecourse. Delorean triumphed by two and three-fourths of a length over Waqet, steered by Ryan Curatolo for Al Mheiri, while Eljenob finished a further three and three-fourths of a length behind for Costa and Coen.
Earlier, racing commenced with the Audi Cup, a 1000-metres maiden for Purebred Arabians. Qaiss Aboud-trained AF Yatwa’ad emerged victorious, decisively pulling away at the halfway mark under Pinheiro.
AF Yatwa’ad secured a three-fourths-length win over AF Man’oot, with JAP Daeya finishing a further length and three-fourths behind in third.
Opening their accounts were Julio Olascoaga and Ghadayer. Julio Olascoaga claimed victory in the 1200m Al Redha Insurance Cup with Rayed, ridden by Jose da Silva. Ghadayer secured a win in the Dubai Fitness Challenge 30x30 Cup with Attribution, guided by Ffrench.
After being appointed general manager of Jebel Ali Racecourse just a month ahead of the last season, Mohamed Al Ahmed pulled off one of the most successful seasons in racecourse history.
The pair were locked in battle throughout the second half of the race, Hitchcott’s mount only stamping his authority on proceedings in the final 200m.
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