The firm of O’Shea, Fresu, Dobbs and Dawson frequently feature heavily throughout the UAE racing season and in return they rank in the top four on the championship.
On Sunday night however at Meydan it was Brazilian hoop Bernardo Pinheiro and South African Francois Herholdt delivering doubles in the saddle.
Herholdt’s double was even more impressive as it signalled his first winner in the UAE for over two decades and his first victories at Meydan.
Now based in Ras Al Khaimah with trainer Rashed Bouresly he rode home Invincibly in race five, the Lincoln Navigator Race, the featured Lincoln Navigator Handicap, kicking clear in the final furlong.
The talk pre-race surrounded Sense of Wisdom who started as odds on favourite trained by Charlie Appleby after the Godolphin trainer took out his sixth Zabeel Mile on the weekend. The 4YO gelded son of Shamardal lined up as the highlight runner of the night and from the gates sat seventh in the pack.
The eventual winner Invincibly led for the entire trip and under Herholdt won at massive odds in his first UAE win after four attempts.
William Buick rode Sense of Wisdom home well in the closing stages of the race but had to settle for third place.
“I’ve raced across the world and I’ve never ridden at a place as beautiful as Meydan, to win here under the lights is awesome, it’s one off the bucket list,” Herholdt said emotionally.
The hoop would return to the winner’s circle an hour later in the closing race, the Lincoln Presidential Handicap when partnering Celtic Voyager for trainer Mohammad Mardood.
The 6YO gelded son of Vercingetorix was transferred to Mardood, in his first season with a licence from De Kock who he formerly trained with.
“I’m very happy for Mohammad. It’s his first winner and all the owners are here,” said Herholdt.
“Let’s hope this will open the door for more winners for him. He [Celtic Voyager] jumped out a little sluggish but when I asked him for an effort he shot through.”
Backing up in the Lincoln Nautilus Handicap run over 2000m it was Zucchini winning his second for the week. With a great ride from Ray Dawson from the gates he hit the lead fighting it out for most of the trip with City King. With 500m left to run City King faded allowing Dawson to get his mount onto the rail and chip away to win and get that second victory for the week.
Trainer Ahmad Bin Harmash opted to switch the gelding to grass for the first time in three years and he seemed to enjoy it with the victory.
“He’s got a lot of early speed and it kind of worked to our advantage today being drawn wide,” said Dawson.
Dawson sits fourth on the championship ladder and had the chance to open his winning account in race three, the Al Tayer Motors Handicap, when getting his mount Vasilakos out to the lead after the first 100m. Grand Dubai was piloted through soon after to take the lead and hold that lead winning with Bernardo Pinheiro on board for a quick double.
The Musabbeh Al Mheiri-trained 5YO went one better after finishing second last week at the track and this time sticking out his neck for a length and a quarter success.
“Thank you to the yard and the trainer, who did an amazing job bringing him back after just a week,” said Pinheiro.
“I was a bit worried about a fast pace today, but he jumped out really well and at the 600metres mark he took hold of the bit and I could feel he was going to fight.”
The Brazilian made it his third winner at Meydan for the weekend and a double for this meeting after taking out the opening race being a Purebred Arabian contest for trainer Majed Al Jahouri.
Af Mouhayer led all the way until with 100m left to travel Pinheiro brought the 6YO Rajee through taking the lead and the victory at juicy odds AUD $42.50 on some markets.
Adding to a night hoops on show Gabriel Malune rode his first UAE winner when Legend Of Cannes took the Lincoln Corsair Maiden, over 1600metres on turf. Making his third appearance, the son of Cairo Prince was another to win from the front, charging into the straight well clear of his rivals, beating stablemate Sharar by two lengths.
“I was surprised to see him so hot beforehand,” said winning trainer and owner Fawzi Nass. “But it’s nice to get the win with him and he’ll be a mile and a quarter horse next season.”
Meydan’s next meeting is on Friday, January 27th, when the fourth night of Dubai World Cup Carnival action featuring the Group 3 Firebreak Stakes and two Listed races with the Jumeirah Classic and Dubai Sprint.