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Lemartinel and O`Shea Join Forces at Second Sharjah Meeting

Racing returns to Sharjah Racecourse for the second time this season on Saturday afternoon and 12 have been declared for the featured 1700m handicap, including Al Yawazi.

Sporting the colours of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Al Yawazi is trained by Eric Lemartinel and is the mount of UAE Champion Jockey, Tadhg O’Shea.

Always a combination to fear, it could be significant that Lemartinel, given the ammunition at his disposal, has just one runner in the race.

“She won her maiden at Sharjah, over this 1700m,” said O’Shea. “So we know the conditions are fine and she seems in very good form at home.

“Eric has his horses at Al Asayl running well and hopefully she will do so on Saturday.”

Elise Jeanne saddles MH Areeb, a six time winner in the UAE. Four of those victories for the seven year old chestnut came over Saturday’s course and distance, including three weeks ago, when ridden by O’Shea.

With O’Shea unavailable, Jeanne secured the services of Adrie de Vries who said: “Conditions obviously suit him very well and he should produce another solid effort in what looks a tough race.”

Richard Mullen has also won on MH Areeb in the past but he rides Ammal trained by Jean de Roualle for Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

It will be only the fourth career start for the four year old, and she will be making her handicap debut. He trainer believes Ammal merits serious consideration.

Also in contention is the same owner’s Aslaan, with apprentice Saeed Al Mazrooei aboard for trainer Helal Al Alawi. The four year old bay colt is expected to run well, along with Bushrah Al Reef.

Sam Hitchcottt rides the latter for Abdallah Al Hammadi and Al Abjarn Stables.

HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum relies on Zaffaan, the mount of retained jockey, Dane O’Neill and trained by Musabbeh Al Mheiri.

The veteran eight year old has won at Sharjah in the past but has been tailed off, including here three weeks ago, on all four starts since winning the 2700m Sharjah Marathon in March 2015.

Pat Dobbs rides Hakim for Doug Watson and EERC (Emirates Entertainment Racing Club). If staying the trip, he is yet another who cannot be discounted in a truly wide open affair.

The only Thoroughbred contest on the six race card is a fascinating 1200m handicap, reduced to 13 runners with the defection of Frobisher.

However, his trainer, Satish Seemar will be represented by both Signs In The Sand and Chord Chart with stable jockey, Richard Mullen aboard the former and apprentice, Cameron Noble, the latter.

Al Mheiri saddles three with O’Shea an interesting booking for Initial with stable jockey, Fernando Jara aboard Tajheez and Outrank to be ridden by apprentice, George Buckell.

Tajheez is owned by Sheikh Hamdan and thus could have been ridden by Dane O’Neill but he has elected to ride Alraased for Ali Rashid Al Rayhi.

Rashed Bouresly saddles no less than five in the race with jockey bookings suggesting Gonydin, the mount of Bruno Reis, is the main hope.

However, the one they all perhaps have to beat is Intense Effort, already a winner at Jebel Ali this season. Adrie de Vries is again in the saddle for Ismail Mohammed.