Humble and proud but focussed on the task ahead.
Bernardo Pinheiro was awarded the Best Local Jockey Award at the HH Sheikh Mohammed Awards for Horse Racing Excellence earlier in the week.
He said he was honoured by the recognition before unleashing at the Abu Dhabi meeting overnight and taking a treble in the saddle.
“The awards means a lot to me! It’s hard to explain how happy and grateful I am with it,” he told Ten Furlongs.
“It’s part of a dream coming true, it shows me that I’m working in the right direction of my goals and dreams.
“The recognition is simply amazing, especially knowing that this award was voted by the public, and since they show my name in the “elections” was lovely to see a lot of people supporting me.
“Not just here in the UAE but around the world especially in the places I have been.”
Starting the card with a win in the opening 2200m Al Bateen maiden Pinheiro rode home Ma’Aly Al Shahania, trained by Mohammed Daggash.
On just her second career start the local debutante beat home her 11 opponents. In the four year old filly’s sole previous outing, in her native France, she finished eighth in a 1600m conditions contest at the beginning of October at Toulouse.
He would only have to wait an hour before a return to the winner’s circle guiding home Bant Al Emarat in a 1400m handicap for horses in private ownership.
Saddled by Qaiss Aboud the 1.25 length win under Pinheiro was a first ever UAE winner for Saif Ahmed Hareb Mohammed Al Otaiba.
The treble was rounded out for the hoop a hour later in the best of the Purebred Arabian action, a 1600m handicap, it was a confident ride aboard Naser Askar’s Zafaranah. Working on the inside rail on the home turn a gap opened and the pair pushed through leading inside the final 125m to come away with the handy win.
Saddled by Musabbeh Al Mheiri, the 5YO mare has now won three of her eight starts, twice over this course and distance.
“I thought I had some decent chances this evening and thankfully that has proved to be the case,” Pinheiro said.
“She has run a super race. I was a bit worried if we could find a gap and I was very happy when one opened when I needed it.”
The hoop said he felt blessed with the treble and the results on track.
"Another blessed day! 6 rides, 3 wins, 2 seconds and 1 forth. I’m so happy to have a great support to be able to bring the sweet results.
"Standing fifth on the Jockey Championship means a lot to me especially cause I started the season more than one month later than everyone. I’m just proud of myself and thankful for everyone that having been supporting me."
Abu Dhabi hosted a six race card on Thursday night concluded with the sole thoroughbred contest, a 1400m handicap which appeared particularly competitive on paper with a capacity field of 14 facing the starter but was turned into a master class by Tadhg O’Shea on board Nibras Passion winning by 4.25 lengths.
With the win O’Shea bagged a double and the gelding doubled his own career tally, adding this to an equally impressive course and distance maiden success, as a 3yo, in January 2021.
“He has always been a nice horse and has been threatening to get back to winning ways. He really quickened well when I asked him and that was a good performance,” O’Shea said.