Emirates Championship: Ajrad Athbah benefits from the inspiration of Bernardo Pinheiro


Emirates Championship: Ajrad Athbah benefits from the inspiration of Bernardo Pinheiro

ABU DHABI (UAE), MARCH 16th, 2023

Gr1 PA - 5-year-olds and up - 2,200m (11f) - AED 1,000,000

In a race in which nobody wanted to make the pace, the Brazilian rider Bernardo Pinheiro had no hesitation in ensuring that his mount, Ajrad Athbah (Af Albahar), was racing at the front end of the race, along the rails. The Yas Racing representative subsequently had the lead whisked off him by Reem Baynounah (No Risk Al Maury), with the latter subsequently dictating the pace, having thrust himself in the thick of the action. Although the latter weakened progressively and was flagging on exiting the final turn. Ajrad Athbah then upped the ante by unleashing a murderous burst which enabled him to gain a decisive advantage. Despite the attacks of Izadi Star (Azadi) on the inside, followed by those of Mujeeb (Dahess) and Somoud (Munjiz) on the outside, the Majed Al Jahouri charge imperiously surged his way to a first PA Group win. It must be said that the winner was something of a surprise package. As, in three prior attempts at this level, Ajrad Athbah had failed to get beyond fifth. After his 2022 victory aboard Harrab (Bibi de Carrère), jockey Bernardo Pinheiro doubled his winning tally in this race in one fell swoop.

Race tactics which pay dividends

Bernardo Pinheiro is enjoying the best season of his career. The winning jockey and brilliantly inspired to boot, told our Emirati colleagues: "I’m delighted and wish to thank all those who have supported me and had faith in me. I won this same race last year for the same trainer, although the horse was in a different ownership. I was very confident before the race, because even though my horse wasn’t a leading contender on paper, it was noticeable when studying the formbook that there was no obvious front runner capable of setting a true gallop. So I took it upon myself to get a good start on the winner which would take me the front end of the race, and this before another horse, and one with more tactical speed, took over at the head of affairs. Going to the final 600m, I knew that my horse had enough in the locker when it came to producing a finish. In the final 200m, he changed leads and proved a superb winner. I'm really pleased by the way in which the race unfolded and worked in my favour, and for the fact that everything panned out in such a way as to produce a winning outcome."

The brother of Manade Athbah

Ajrad Athbah is a son of the Haras de Thouars sire Af Albahar (Amer). The dam, Manade (Dormane), won in France following a triumph on the Pompadour all-weather. She has also produced Manade Athbah (Khoutoubia), the Hatta International Stakes (Gr1 PA) third, who incidentally was trained by Sandrine Tarrou. The grandam, Super Nana (Tidjani), has yielded

Mansper (Dormane), the Grand Prix de Son Altesse Royale le Prince Moulay Rachid victor, plus Nadjel (Djelfor). The latter won the Emirates Arabian International Stakes (Gr2 PA). Ajrad Athbah is a descendant of the much heralded Jaffa du Berlais (Baj), herself the source of numerous black type performers, and the dam of Chaikh Man (Dormane). The latter won 11 races and was placed at Gr1 PA level.














Af Albahar









Al Hanouf
































Super Nana





Jaffa du Berlais


Gr1 PA - 5-year-olds and up - 2,200m - AED 1,000,000

1st           AJRAD ATHBAH H5

                (Af Albahar & Manade, by Dormane)

                Owner: Yas Racing

Breeder: Athbah Stud

                Trainer: M. Al Jahoori

Jockey: B. Pinheiro

2nd          MUJEEB H6

                (Dahess & Nymphea du Paon, by Mahabb)

                Owner: Al Asayl

Breeder: Scea Al Asayl Racing

                Trainer: S. Al Ketbi

Jockey: R. Mullen

3rd          IZADI STAR H6

                (Azadi & Guest Del Falot, by Djorman)

                Owner: National Stables

Breeders: Haras de Castelnérac & T. Fourcy

                Trainer: H. Alalawi

Jockey: C. Demuro

 (14 runners)

Dirt. 2'27"93. Distances: 1 3/4 - SHEAD - 1/2.