It was Burj Al Reef under Dubai World Cup winning jockey Fernando Jara running away with the honours in the Dh 70,000 race at the Al Ain race course.
Probably last of the 15 runners with 1200m remaining, Burj Al Reef snatched what appeared a most unlikely victory in the opening 2000 metre handicap, powering home down the straight under Jara to lead in the final 75m.
Trained by Ahmed Al Mehairbi, the 6-year-old was losing his maiden tag at the 12th attempt and clearly relished the stamina test afforded by this 2000m trip.
To land the spoils, he and Jara pounced on MH Areeb under Antonio Fresu who seemed less than impressed and took a bite at his vanquishers before trying, to no avail, to regain the lead.
Running into third place was ES Kwashi under Roman Scott for trainer Mohammed Ramadan.
Jara quipped: “He ran very well last time but the extra 200m here has really helped him and he stayed on very strongly in the closing stages, despite the attentions of the runner-up!”
The HH Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival is sustained by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and coordinated by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, with National Feed and Flour Production and Marketing Co. LLC as associate sponsors, The National Archives as the official partner and Emirates airline as the official carriers, in cooperation with Emirates Racing Authority, IFAHR, Emirates Arabian Horse Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare and sponsored by Ayadi LLC, Global United Veterinary Services LLC, Wathba Stallions, Abu Dhabi Falconers Club, Emirates Falconers Club, Mohamed Bin Zayed Falconry and Desert Physiognomy School, Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), Al Awani General Enterprises, Kabale, Omeir Travels, Laboratories Fadia Karam Cosmetics, YAS Channel, Racing Post, Paris Turf, Al Wathba Centre, the UAE’s General Women’s Union, The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, the HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2017, Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, Eastern Mangroves Suites-Abu Dhabi by Jannah, Anantara Eastern Mangroves Spa and Resort.