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Al Asayl Team Bid for More Al Ain Riches on Friday

A seven-race card at Al Ain Racecourse on Friday evening is highlighted by a 1000m handicap for which ten have been declared.

Champion Jockey, Tadhg O’Shea rides Eswarah for HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Eric Lemartinel and the trio have been in great form in recent weeks.

Eswarah won on her seasonal debut on the Abu Dhabi turf in November, but does have a dirt victory at Sharjah on her resume having won there under O’Shea in November 2015.

“She has been working very well,’ said O’Shea. “The yard are in great form and hopefully she will at least be competitive with Mohd Ramadan’s horse, on who I won last time, looking the one to beat.”

The horse to whom he refers is Ubu Al Mels, and with O’Shea unavailable, Ramadan, who trains on the Al Ain track, has booked Chris Hayes.

“Ubu Al Mels has a good record here at Al Ain and should run well again,” said Ramadan.

Three starts ago, Ramadan’s charge was second, over this course and distance, to the Helal Al Alawi-trained RB Goliath.

He was then only seventh behind Ubu Al Mels but won again, two weeks ago, here at Al Ain but over 1600m.

Apprentice George Buckell, who is forging a strong alliance with the trainer, was aboard for both those victories and is back in the saddle again.

“All three of this horse’s local victories have been at Al Ain and he goes particularly well here,” said Buckell.

“He has the speed for this 1000m as he showed when beating Ubu Al Mels in December and, with the trainer’s horses running well, he should have a good chance.”

The only Thoroughbred race is a very competitive 1400m handicap and the maximum field of 15 have been declared.

O’Shea rides Arborist for his main employer, Grandstand Stables trainer Ali Rashid Al Rayhi and a horse who will be having just his fourth local start.

“He has always worked like a really nice horse and has only had eight races in life so is hopefully open to improvement,” said O’Shea.

“He just needs to produce what he shows us at home to be very competitive in a race like this and this looks a winnable race and the yard also has a big chance with Alraased.”

Owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Alraased, under O’Shea, was a good second on the Meydan turf, over 2000m, on his most recent outing.

A 1200m winner at Sharjah in November, this 1400m could prove to be his optimum trip and he looks certain to go close under the owner’s retained jockey, Jim Crowley.

The weights are headed by Maltese Cat, one of four in the race trained by Musabbeh Al Mheiri and the mount of stable jockey, Fernando Jara.

All three of his career victories have been achieved over 1400m so the trip certainly suits but he has not won since registering a course and distance success in November 2014.

“It was a longer trip for her today and she stayed very well,” said Hayes. “I was always pretty confident and she has had a good look around suggesting she has more to offer with further experience.”