ABU DHABI // The trainer-jockey combination of Ernst Oertel and Tadgh O'Shea landed the two featured prizes at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club last night when Seraphin Du Paon and Shayel Aldhabi were impressive winners in the silks of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, the President of the UAE.
Seraphin Du Paon won the 2,200m President of the UAE Cup Prep and Shayel Aldhabi came with a blistering run around a wall of horses to take the 1,600m Arabian Triple Crown Round 1.
"He is a very talented horse and this win may have done a lot of good for his confidence," O'Shea said of Seraphin Du Paon, the 2011 winner of the Dh1 million President of the UAE Cup and the Dubai Kahayla Classic.
"He was a bit rusty over an inadequate mile trip on his first run for the season but tonight he was spot on over the longer trip. He had to come through horses and he did it very nicely."
O'Shea had to come from the middle of the field to hit the front in the final 100m to win by three-quarter-of-a-length from Nawfal Al Reef and Versac PY, who ran a superb first race for the season.
Nieshan, last year's winner of the President of the UAE Cup, finished in middle of the field after holding every chance until the field approached the final bend.
O'Shea was back in the winner's enclosure half-an-hour later when Shayel Aldhabi was an impressive winner over stable companion Wycked in the Listed race for four year olds.
"I won on this filly two weeks ago but tonight she won even better as she had to come around a wall of horses," O'Shea said.
The two winners took Oertel's total to 18 for the campaign, two more than when he took charge of the Al Asayl Stables in Abu Dhabi last season.
"It has been a pretty good season so far with a steady flow of winners," the South African said.
In the remaining four races, Kieren Fallon made all the running on Doug Watson's Mantoba to claim the only prize for the thoroughbreds on the six-race card.
AF Sanadek extended his winning streak to six by taking the opener, but the trainer Eric Lemartinel and jockey Gerald Avranche were denied of a double when Saber Trabelsi held off the late challenge of AF Qamoos in the fifth race on Ibrahim Al Hadhrami's Prime D'Or.
Carlos Sanchez rode Duzar to win the concluding maiden race for the Emirati trainer Majed Al Jahouri.