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Brazilian jockey Bernardo Pinheiro achieves outstanding position in the United Arab Emirates

In the last two weekends of January, Brazilian jockey Bernardo Pinheiro won important races at the Meydan, Jebel Ali and Al Ain racecourses. In addition to second place in Abu Dhabi.

Another important achievement for Pinheiro is the exclusive contract with trainer Majed Al Jahoori for both Yas Horse Racing and Al Wathba Racing, both owned by HH Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs of the UAE and chairman of the Emirates Racing Auhority.

On Sunday 29 January Pinheiro won two races at Al Ain Racecourse, both for trainer Khalifa Al Neyadi. The meeting commenced with the Wathba Stallions Cup for Private Owners Only a 1600m maiden exclusively for horses foaled in the UAE, won in determined fashion by Caesar Hawran (Morshed (AE) x Lazia Lotoise (FR) by Kesberoy (FR)), never far off the speed under Bernardo Pinheiro and responding well to his jockey’s urgings to head Farraan (AE, Shart Al Khalidiah (SA) x Ahlan Maamora (MA) by Monsieur Al Maury (FR) in the final 125m.


Khalifa Al Neyadi saddled the homebred winner, scoring at the fifth attempt, for Samer Rfai Al Mahamed, also the maiden success for the owner.

Trainer and jockey completed a double courtesy of Mohammed Abdlhamid Abdullatif Taha’s YAS Xmnsor in a 1400m handicap.


The opening 1400m maiden, on January 28 at Jebel Ali Racecourse, the only Purebred Arabian race on the card and restricted to runners foaled in the UAE, was won in good style by Basem Al Wathba (AE, Mijdadd (FR) - Salidja De Chaillac (FR) by Tidjani (FR)), never far off the pace on the nearside under Bernardo Pinheiro, the pair asserting in the final 125m.

Another victory of the successful partnership with Al Wathba Racing and trainer Majed Al Jahoori, which started in 2021; and in which Pinheiro established himself as his main jockey.


The winning streak started on Friday, January 20th at Meydan Racecourse in the only Purebred Arabian race on the card which went to Leena (Mahabb (AE) - Rudina (US) by Burning Sand (US)), probably never headed under Bernardo Pinheiro for Yas Horse Racing and Al Wathba Racing.


Sunday, January 22, it was a third Meydan winner of the weekend for Pinheiro, who also won the opening Purebred Arabian contest for trainer Majed Al Jahoori, just as he had at the Carnival on Friday. For much of the 1900metre Lincoln Aviator-sponsored race it looked as if AF Mouhayer and Tadhg O’Shea had stolen it from the front, but when he tired close home Rajee (FR, Munjiz (FR) x Rakha (FR) by Mahabb (AE)) took advantage and crossed the line a length ahead.


In the same day, Pinheiro won the third race on the card Al Tayer Motors Race thoroughbred handicap 2.000metre on dirt riding Grand Dubai (Dawn Approach (IRE) - Miss Verdoyante (GB) by Montjeu (IRE)) for trainer Musabbeh Al Mheiri.


The successful partnership between Bernardo Pinheiro and trainer Majed Al Jahoori of Yas Horse Racing Management LLC and Al Wathba Racing, both owned by HH Sh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, started on 9 April 2021 at Al Ain Racecourse.

The very final race of the UAE season 2020/2021, the featured 2000m conditions contest was contested by a select field of six horses and Bernardo Pinheiro, sporting the striking green and yellow checked silks of Al Wathba Racing, won comfortably riding Harrab (AE, Bibi De Carrere (FR) x Waahiba (FR) by Akbar (FR)).


After the race Pinheiro said: “He has done that very nicely and, on ratings, was entitled to at least run a big race which is what he has done. The leader skipped clear early in the straight but I always thought I had him in my sights and my horse picked up well. It is the perfect end to what has been a very good season for me.”

Almost a year after the first race on March 20, 2022; in the sunday’s penultimate and one of the best fixtures of Abu Dhabi’s entire season was highlighted by the 2200m Group 1 Emirates Championship, worth AED1 million and it produced a thrilling finish with Harrab denying Jawal Al Reef in the shadow of the post.

The pair had traded the lead throughout the final 200m but it was Al Wathba Racing’s horse that prevailed under Bernardo Pinheiro for Majed Al Jahoori.


Pinheiro had closed rapidly leaving the back straight and his mount responded to every urging throughout the straight.

Pinheiro, completing a double, said: “I have a contract with the trainer this year so I am delighted to win this big race for them and this is a lovely horse. I was confident on the home turn and, although it was close, I knew we had won crossing the line.”

Bernardo Pinheiro and HE Sheikh Rashid bin Dalmouk Al Maktoum, ERA Vice-Chairman

Bernardo Pinheiro finished fourth in the UAE's 2021/2022 statistics, which earned him the award at ‘Racing Oscar Awards’created in January 2022 by the Emirates Racing Authority to recognize the outstanding achievements in the country’s horse racing industry.

Brazilian jockey Bernardo Pinheiro received the Pat Smullen Award for the Best Ride abroad Harrab, who won the PA Group 1 Emirates Championship in Abu Dhabi.

Bernardo and his wife Gabriela Couto Pinheiro

At the award ceremony, Pinheiro said: “This is a dream come true to receive a trophy like this and it’s amazing that the ERA do these awards as it gives you the motivation you need to go out there and do what you do.”

Majed Al Jahoori, Ana Lia Mendez, Sultan Al Jahoori and Bernardo Pinheiro

Photos: Emirates Racing Authority / Cidinha Franzão

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