Saturday January 26, 2013, Press Release, Abu Dhabi~
The best of the Purebred Arabian action looks to be the concluding 2200m conditions race in which Ernst Oertel saddles four of the 14 runners. Stable jockey Tadhg O’Shea rides Callateral on whom the saddle slipped on his most recent start a week ago.
He was ridden by Sam Hitchcott on that occasion and the jockey switches to Forgehill Cezanne this week, with Adrian Nicholls on Swyft and Royston Ffrench aboard Richly Blessed. Oertel, who has already saddled 23 winners this season, said: “That was disappointing last week as we really thought Callateral would run well but he came out of the race fine. All four would have a chance in what looks an open race.”
The Eric Lemartinel-trained Simbar Du Loup won a similar race last week and is penalised for that victory but his jockey, Gerald Avranche, still sounds hopeful and said: “He did it well last week and can hopefully improve on that. This is probably a better race but we at least know conditions suit him.”
He was chased home last week by Al Waqqad who seeks revenge with Richard Mullen in the saddle for trainer Tony Manuel.
The only Thoroughbred race at Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening is a quality 1600m handicap with the weights headed by Entifaadha, having his second start for trainer Musabah Al Muhairi who saddled four winners at Jebel Ali on Friday.
A Group 3 winner in England for William Haggas, he made his local debut when beaten a short-head by Burano in the Meydan Classic last year, on the Meydan turf, before switching to all-weather when well beaten in the UAE Derby. He had two more runs for Haggas in the UK before switching to Al Muhairi and will be ridden by Paul Hanagan, retained jockey for the horse’s owner, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
“He ran well on his one start this season in a decent 1400m conditions race on the all-weather at Meydan,” said Hanagan. “He should appreciate this step up to 1600m and return to turf. Hopefully a big run will see him improve his chances of a run at the Dubai World Cup Carnival.”
Stable companion Maath Gool has already won a course and distance handicap this season and will again be partnered by stable jockey Wayne Smith who said: “He is a horse we have always liked and is a consistent sort who clearly goes well at Abu Dhabi. We also have Musaafer in the race and it was he we beat narrowly over course and distance in November.”
Also owned by Sheikh Hamdan, Musaafer will be ridden by Dane O’Neill, the owner’s second jockey.
Mazeydd, the mount of Kieren Fallon, makes his first local start having joined Dhruba Selvaratnam after just five starts in England. He may need this first run since September though and the Doug Watson-trained Classic Blade may be a bigger danger on this occasion. He has not run on turf for over a year but was a Group 2 winner in the UK as a juvenile in 2008.