Ernst Oertel narrows gap in trainer race with Callateral and Sheikh Down wins

Asayl Stables handler lands two to close in on leader even as Emirati Yousef Al Bloushi steps up from endurance to flat racing.
Callateral, riden by William Twiston-Davies, won the first race of Sunday's meeting at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. Delores Johnson / The National
Callateral, riden by William Twiston-Davies, won the first race of Sunday's meeting at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. Delores Johnson / The National

ABU DHABI // Yousef Al Bloushi had a quiet first outing as the second trainer for the expanding flat racing operation for the Purebred Arabians of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed.

The Emirati’s first two runners on the flat, Daanah and Haajeb, were well beaten on their UAE debut but the trainer took “the experience” of his four-year-old runners as positives from last night’s meeting at the Capital.

“They are both young and arrived only two months ago from France, still we thought of providing them a run that would give us an idea of their true potential,” Al Bloushi said.

“Obviously, they need more time to adapt as well as to get fitter. They have both raced in France but have yet to win.

“We’ll see how they have come out of this race and if we can run them again in the near future, if not next season.”

Al Bloushi has had much success as a rider and trainer of endurance horses for the Al Reef Stables, and has already saddled a couple of winners this season for the new Etihad Stables of Sheikh Mansour.

Al Bloushi has seven Purebred Arabians training on the flat for Sheikh Mansour at the stable based in Al Wathba, aside from the 60 endurance horses he trains in Al Ain for his principal patron.

“I enjoy training both, on the flat as well as endurance, and love the challenge. “I am very thankful to Sheikh Mansour for providing me with this opportunity,” he said.

Ernst Oertel, the UAE champion trainer, saddled two winners on the night under two jockeys.

Callateral took the opener under the English apprentice William Twiston-Davies, his first winner in Abu Dhabi, and the stable jockey Tadhg O’Shea came in with a storming late run to clinch the fourth race onboard Sheikh Down.

Callateral, returning for his first run in almost a year, came in with a late run to win from stable companion Hab Nesnas under O’Shea, leading a one-two finish for the Al Asayl Stables.

Sheikh Down won for the second time this season, and was runner-up in the other two starts.

“He has been very consistent horse and tonight he battled well when needed to win in a tight finish,” O’Shea said of the five-year-old chestnut son of Calin Du Loup.

The double on the night took Oertel’s tally to 12 in Abu Dhabi and 20 overall in the trainer’s title race, narrowing the gap to six victories behind the Emirati Musabah Al Muhairi.

Moonlight Dash was an impressive winner of the concluding race for the thoroughbreds under Richard Mullen.

Mullen had the son of Monsun well-placed in second behind Henry Clay, who set the early pace under Sam Hitchcott, before sprinting away from the 200-metre mark to win by four-and-a-half lengths from Paul Hanagan on Amaan.

apassela@thenational.ae

Follow us on Twitter at @SprtNationalUAE

Published: January 19, 2014 04:00 AM

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