Last Season’s Al Ain Mile Prep Winner Could Star for Lemartinel
20 November 2014, Al Ain, UAE ~ Bigg N Rich (FALINA DES FABRIES x Viraac (US) by Virgule Al Maury) developed something of a liking for Al Ain last season and is shaping up as the one to beat in Friday’s featured 1600m Conditions race at the track.
Trained by Eric Lemartinel, the Athbah Stud-owned Purebred Arabian was third on his seasonal debut at Abu Dhabi on 9 November over the same trip.
Twice victorious at Al Ain last season on a synthetic track, the switch to dirt should not inconvenience Lemartinel’s charge who has a previous victory on the surface to his credit.
Wayne Smith comes in for the ride on the horse who has to give weight to all his six rivals.
“I’m really looking forward to riding him again,” said Smith. “I did win on him a couple of years ago and he has improved a lot since then. Obviously we have a lot of weight but we have to be very hopeful.”
Smith’s mount seasonal reappearance was in a Ladies’ race at Abu Dhabi in which he was third, having looked the likely winner 400m from home before seemingly tiring in the closing stages.
Molahen El Alhan was the horse on 9 November that defeated BiggNRich. He has won five of eight career starts, three of them coming consecutively and he appears the main danger to Lemartinel’s charge.
Adding to his credentials is the fact that he also won on dirt at Sharjah last season so the surface should not be a problem.
Oertel also saddles Wycked, the mount of Daniel Muscutt and eighth last time in the same Abu Dhabi race when Haajeb, to be ridden by Pat Dobbs for Yousef Al Bloushi, was sixth.
Quite A Show, trained by Doug Watson, looks certain to appreciate the switch to dirt having won all three of his starts on the surface in his native USA. He was fourth at Sharjah on his sole UAE dirt outing.
Watson also saddles Famous Warrior in the only Thoroughbred race, a 1400m handicap and he should go well under Pat Dobbs if he handles the surface.