January 20, 2013, Abu Dhabi ~ Godolphin jockey Silvestre De Sousa, fresh from Dubai World Cup Carnival treble at Meydan on Saturday, was back in the winner’s enclosure after steering Gabas Noor (Madour (FR) x Gabes (TN) by Zeidoun) to a comfortable victory in the Wathba Stud Farm Cup (For Private Owners Only), a 1400m handicap for trainer Ibrahim Al Hadhrami. De Sousa said, “It has been a good weekend and I am really looking forward to the rest of the UAE season with some lovely horses to look forward to.”
Trainer Ernst Oertel, based at Al Asayl just outside Abu Dhabi, stormed to the top of the trainers’ championship with a treble at Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening.
Oertel now has 23 winners this season, one more than reigning champion Ali Rashid Al Raihe.
All three winners sported the colours of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan but were partnered by three different jockeys. Manisha (Darike x Al Misk by Vadeer) led the way in a 2200m handicap with Royston Ffrench in the saddle.
“The yard had four runners in the race and mine was probably not their first string,” said Ffrench. “We all know the yard is in amazing form and all their runners have a chance. She is a nice mare who has not had much racing. That is four wins from seven starts and these are the spare rides we like.”
Oertel then saddled the winner of the following fillies and mares’ 2200m conditions race, with Adrian Nicholls performing the steering on this occasion on Maharani. The jockey said of Maharnai (Darike(FR) -x Madawa (FR) by Djelfor): “She was a course and distance winner last time so stamina was never a concern and she has clearly improved from that win and may well do so again.”
The US bred, Richlore (TH Richie (US) x Lore (US) by Wiking) then completed a rapid treble for the trainer in the following 1600m handicap with Sam Hitchcott producing his ride late to land the spoils. The jockey said: “She has only had four starts and has now won two. She has needed every yard of this 1600m and can improve over further.”
Oertel added: “It has been another great evening in what has been a brilliant season so far.”
Racing opened with a 2200m conditions race and Gerald Avranche was in the saddle aboard Simbar Du Loup (Akbar (FR) x Kenza Lotoise (FR) by Dormane) who posted a comfortable victory for trainer Eric Lemartinel. Simbar Du Loup was registering his second career win and first locally at the eighth attempt. Avranche said, “He can be difficult in the stalls but broke well today and after that I was always happy. He travelled well and quickened nicely to win his race. Hopefully he will progress.”
The only Thoroughbred race on the card was the concluding 1600m maiden and Richard Mullen was never far off the pace on the Satish Seemar-trained Baransky who opened his account at the 11th attempt. Mullen said: “The boss (Seemar) has not been well so hopefully this will cheer him up. We had a few in the race so it is nice to have picked the right one! He actually did it nicely and it was nice to get an opportunity on turf as his UK form on grass was very good. We will have to see what the handicapper does but it would be nice to think there is more to come.”