RB Burn Seeks Group 1 Abu Dhabi Victory

Racing at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Sunday features the 1400m Group 1 Liwa Oasis for which ten were declared but, with the unfortunate defection of Shateh, could develop into a match with RB Burn appearing the most likely winner.

Previously campaigned in France, he is now under the care of Eric Lemartinel at Al Asayl Stables near Abu Dhabi.

Sporting the red and black silks of Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, he made a fantastic start to his local career by winning the world’s most valuable Purebred Arabian contest,

the 1600m €1.2million Group 1 Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown at Abu Dhabi.

He has had just one subsequent outing, when second in the 1600m Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge R1 on the dirt at Meydan and, a 1400m winner in France, looks very much the one to beat here under regular jockey, Gerald Avranche.

“He is a very good horse and seems in great shape,” said Avranche. “The shorter trip should not be an issue and, back on turf, this looks a good opportunity for him and we have to be very hopeful.”

Tadhg O’Shea, who rides a lot of winners for Lemartinel, is claimed by Ali Rashid Al Rayhi to partner AF Maqayes. He won his penultimate outing, the 1000m Group 3 Al Ruwais at Abu Dhabi before chasing home AF Mathmoon in the Group 2 Mazrat Al Ruwayah over 1600m on dirt at Meydan Racecourse.

“He is in good form and has been running well,” said O’Shea. “With Shateh out of the field, the race takes on a new dynamic as he was the obvious early pace.

“With him out of the race, RB Burn undoubtedly looks the one to beat but we should be thereabouts.”

Previously trained by Majed Al Jahouri, Shateh was due to have his first outing for Jean de Roualle but sadly, the winner of both his starts this season, he was found to be lame on Saturday morning.

The main support race is the four-year-olds only Group 3 Arabian Triple Crown R2, over the stamina sapping 2200m.

Trained by Ali Rashid Al Rayhi for HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Al Zahir is an exciting newcomer to the UAE and won over 2100m on his most recent outing in his native France.

If able to reproduce his French form, he looks a big danger to all under the owner’s retained jockey, Jim Crowley.

Said Al Badi, who trains in Oman for their Royal Cavalry, has saddled Maisoor to win twice this season, including the Listed Arabian Triple Crown R1 and the trainer’s only two ever runners in the UAE.

His Laheeb has won twice, from seven outings, on the Muscat dirt and the very fact they are bringing him from Oman suggests connections are hopeful of continuing their fine run in the capital this season.

Of the remainder, Richard Mullen partners AF Marrah, hinting he is the main hope of two Ernst Oertel-trained runners, while Lemartinel saddles four.

Of the quartet, O’Shea rides Amwaj with Avranche aboard Darius Du Paon which would, seemingly, indicate the pair represent the trainer’s main hopes in the race.