ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 03 DECEMBER 2017. Horse Racing at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup. 1600m. Winner Nr 4 Darius Du Paon, 4yrs. Jockey Tadhg O’Shea, Owner H.H.Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Trainer Eric Lemartinel. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Amith Passela. Section: Sport.
Trainer Eric Lemartinel has enjoyed a successful week so far. Antonie Robertson / The National

Eric Lemartinel hopes to sign off successful week with more wins in Abu Dhabi

After scooping the Group 2 Baniyas for Purebred Arabians at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday and returning with a double at Al Ain the following day, Eric Lemartinel is hoping to end the week with more winners in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

The Al Asayl trainer, whose stable consists mainly of Arabians, has 11 runners entered across four races in the six-race card.

The most valuable race on the night is the Dh100,000 handicap for horses, rated 60-90 and run over 1,600 metres. It has drawn seven runners of which three are trained by Lemartinel.

Tadhg O’Shea, who rode all three winners for Lemartinel at both Meydan and Al Ain, has chosen Tahany from the trio.

The four-year-old Munjiz filly made a winning start to the season at Al Ain 16 days ago. Prior to that, she was a course and distance winner of a Maiden.

Deyaar and Molahen El Alhan are the two other runners. They are ridden by South Americans Jesus Rosales and Jose Santiago respectively.

Molahen El Alhan is a winner of eight races of which seven were ridden by O’Shea.

“It’s not easy to get off Molahen El Alhan as he has been a great servant to all of us at Al Asayl,” the Irishman said of the seven-year-old gelded son of Al Nasr.

“He is more than capable of a big run, as is Deyaar. But on these terms, I have gone with the youngest of the trio who is - we hope - improving all the time.

“We are very hopeful the winner will come from the Al Asayl trio, but only time will tell if I have picked the right one in Tahany.”


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O’Shea also had three Al Asayl runners from which to choose in the following conditions race, and he has opted to be atop Mawahib, another four-year-old filly with a win in Sharjah and third over the course and distance prior to that.

Gerald Avranche rides stable companion, Mahbooba, the class act in the race having won the 2,200m Group 1 Emirates Championship in March.

She does have two course and distance victories to her name and looks sure to be staying on in the straight, while Rosales rides the third Lemartinel runner, RB Dixie Burning, thrice a course and distance winner.

“Again, it was a tough choice and we all know how good Mahbooba is, while these are probably the ideal conditions for RB Dixie Burning,” O’Shea explained.

“However, as with Tahany, Mawahib is seemingly on the improve so I sided with her. Again, Al Asayl do appear to have the most likely winner and I hope I made the right choice.”

O’Shea’s other two rides for Lemartinel are on Hawafez in the opener and aboard Asyad in the concluding handicap.

In between he rides the Grandstand Stables' Najm Suhail in the only thoroughbred race in the card. He also takes the reins of Emirati trainer Ibrahim Al Hadhrami’s BF Mughader in the Wathba Stallions Cup.


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