Champion jockey Richard Mullen returns for another six races at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club

Englishman rode to four victories in a six-race card two weeks ago

Richard Mullen, riding Akeed Champion, took first place in the HHPresident Cup race on February 13, 2017. Delores Johnson / The National
Richard Mullen, riding Akeed Champion, took first place in the HHPresident Cup race on February 13, 2017. Delores Johnson / The National

ABU DHABI // Richard Mullen returns to the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club where he rode to four victories in a six-race card two weeks ago.

Mullen won atop Satish Seemar-trained Akeed Champion in the Listed race for the thoroughbreds. He also bagged the Group 1 prize for the Arabians aboard Jean de Roualle’s Loraa to become the first jockey to clinch a President Cup double.

The Englishman has been booked for all six races on Sunday.

He will steer Ernst Oertel’s AF Al Sajanjle at the feature event – the Dh 110,000 Emirates Colts Classic – a race with Prestige status for four-year-old locally-bred colts and geldings, which is run over 1,600 metres.

Mullen’s mount, the grey son of AF Al Buraq, made a winning debut before going down by 10 lengths to high-class Maisoor – undefeated in eight career starts – in the Listed Abu Dhabi Championship.

AF Al Sajanjle was unplaced behind the same horse in the Listed Arabian Triple Crown Round 1 three weeks ago but looks good to rebound against competition of the same level.

“Conditions obviously suit him and he is a nice colt,” Mullen said. “We would have to be hopeful of a big run and the stable look to have three decent chances.”

AF Al Sajanjle will, however, be up against some of Oertel’s other entries, including AF Maher and AF Yatroq, as well as the Eric Lemartinel-trained trio of Mahfouz, Hawafez and Ameed.

It will be a busy night for Mullen, who has been charged with guiding Noof KB in the opening race. He then switches to AF Al Sajanjle for the second race, AF La’Asae for the third and AF Ashras for the fifth, all trained by Oertel.

That is not all.

He will team up with Elise Jeanne’s MH Areeb and Town’s History, trained by Seemar, in the fourth and concluding events, respectively.

The 40-year-old former Godolphin rider is in a close race for the UAE jockey’s championship title with Tadhg O’Shea.

Going into Sunday night’s meeting, Mullen trails O’Shea – who rode two winners at Meydan Racecourse on Saturday – by one win. O’Shea has 42 and Mullen 41.

O’Shea is a four-time UAE champion jockey himself, and his best chances tonight appear to be on the Lemartinel’s horses Zahee and Bainoona.

apassela@thenational.ae

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Published: February 25, 2017 04:00 AM

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