Abu Dhabi First Race of the Season

Already 196 starts for 2018/2019 racing season

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4 November 2018, Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ And so the battle recommences! The two major breeders in UAE, Al Asayl Stables for The President HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Al Aweer Farm for Mr Khaled Khalifa Al Nabooda, who dominated racing last season, lost no time in locking horns in Abu Dhabi’s first meeting last night with two wins apiece out of five races for purebred Arabian horses.

Trainer for Al Asayl Eric Lemartinel and jockey Pat Cosgrove on Ellal (TH Richie x Lujain) picked up the first race, a maiden for 3-yr-olds bred in UAE, whilst AF Al Aassi (AF Maqam Alezz x AF Magidah) and AF Al Moreeb (AF Al Buraq x Kinana) trained by Al Aweer’s Ernst Ortel finished second and third respectively in a full 16 horse field of first time starters with many promising youngsters in the field. Interestingly it was marginally the fastest 1400m (7f) of the night at 1.32.52.

Lemartinel’s second victory came in the feature race, the 1600m (8f) Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan National Day Cup Prep Race, with Darius Du Paon, 5yrs (No Risk Al Maury x Safira Du Paon) bred in France by Sergio Raffaello and Frane Poli. Rated at 115 Darius Du Paon was the highest rated horse in the field, he gave Olivier Doleuze a smooth, winning first ride in UAE from second, US-bred Goshawke, 4yrs (Thoroughbred x Sand Witchh) and third, AF Al Sajanjle, 5yrs (AF Al Buraq – Caline Du Loup). The time for the race was 1.44.14.

Horses bred in Al Aweer Farm dominated in the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club Cup for Private Owners, AF Waqas (AF Al Buraq x AF Kaltrami) trained by Ernst Ortel and ridden by Tadhg O’Shea, led the way from AF Al Asef (Al Buraq x Voici Kossack), owned and trained by Mohammed Saeed Al Shamsi, and third AF Ashras (AF Al Buraq x Modjalla) for Ortel.

The second leg of the Ortel, O’Shea double came in the Al Rawdah Handicap 2200m (11f) with AF Yatroq (AF Al Buraq x Nuzhaat) coming from behind to a convincing win from second MH Tawag (Bibi De Carrere x Arkadya) trained by Elise Jeanne followed by Mahfouz (TH Richie x Jowharat Al Asayl).

With Tadhg O’Shea taken on as stable jockey for Al Aweer and Olivier Doleuze joining Al Asayl, both teams have added further keys for future success, who, along with the exciting youngsters that have joined their respective strings, signal that competition will remain hot between these two powerful stables.

The Al Hosn Maiden 4-yr-olds and older run over 1400m went to Omani raider Al Mobher (Big Easy x Radwa De Faust) trained by Younis Al Kahbani and ridden by apprentice Saif Al Balushi from the Royal Cavalry of Oman. Somoud (Munjiz x Wadya) trained by Ahmed Al Mehairbi and Emir De Carrere (Kerbella x Viki De Carrere) trained by Musabbah Al Mheiri filled the second and third spots.

With three winners on this first night of racing and five other horses in the placings, last season’s Leading Sire AF Al Buraq already looks set to keep his title, whilst TH Richie had three runners in the money and Mahabb two.

UAE continues to run the highly useful Barrier trials which horses must pass before they can race. There have been 196 starts so far this season showing just how healthy the situation is, however it remains to be seen whether the addition races planned will be sufficient for the number of horses in training. It looks like an exciting season ahead.

~ article by Deirdre Hyde

Horsereporter welcomes Deirdre Hyde for Down the Straight reporting.

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