Emirates Racing Authority

The Listed Abu Dhabi Championship over 1600m, was the feature in the capital on Sunday evening, 17 December, and it produced a finish worthy of its billing with Asyyad landing the spoils by a rapidly diminishing nose.

That, however, only tells half the story as the son of Burning Sand representing Al Asayl had led inside the final 100m seemingly about to win easily when sweeping past Goshawke. But the race was far from over.

Both Asyyad and Goshawke (Thoroughbred by the Burning Sand daughter, Sand Witchh) were having just their second career start, having finished third on their respective debuts, both over this trip, Goshawke here at Abu Dhabi and Asyaad at Al Ain.

Ridden by Tadhg O’Shea for Eric Lemartinel and HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Assyad appeared to think his job was done once in front with Goshawke throwing down a renewed and very determined challenge. To the naked eye, it was impossible to split them as they flashed across the line.

The judge’s verdict went the way of Asyyad and O’Shea explained: “He actually jumped well from the gates but was then, immediately, impeded from both sides so, given his inexperience, as this was just his second start, he has done remarkably well to win. The plan was to be quite handy but, after that start, I had to take my time and luckily, the gaps appeared when I needed them.

“Listen, he is a nice, young horse and had to be tonight because, given the way the race panned out, that was a lot better performance than it probably looked. Basically, a good horse has helped me get out of a bit of trouble and hopefully he is a nice one for the future.”

That feature was one of a trio of races restricted to three-year-olds. The meeting opened with the Abu

- Mrs. Pamela Burton , Posted on 16 December 2017