Wayne Smith claims both National Day Cup preps

Wayne Smith was the jockey to follow on National Day Cup prep night at Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening and won both the big races, starting with the featured Purebred Arabian race.

Over the same 1600m as the Group One National Day Cup, the prep developed into a duel between Al Asayl duo Fryvolous and Time Out and it was the latter and Smith who prevailed in a driving finish.

Both first and second are trained by Ernst Oertel who said: "We hoped they would both run well and they certainly have not disappointed. Obviously the National Day Cup is an important race on the calendar and in these two we look to have a pair of decent chances."

Smith then doubled up in the concluding race, the Thoroughbred equivalent, on Marching Time for Doug Watson.

Having twice been runner-up at Abu Dhabi last season, the winner deserved to get his head in front and Watson said: "It is nice for the horse to get his head in front after some excellent runs in defeat last season. The Listed National Day Cup is the obvious next step."

Smith added: "It has been a good night and to win a feature races is always extra special so to win both is a real bonus."

Elsewhere, Oertel initiated his own double in the opening 1400m maiden when Shahryar winning comfortably under Ted Durcan for whom it was a first ride at Abu Dhabi this season.

Durcan said: "That is a perfect start to my Abu Dhabi campaign and he seems a nice young horse. I hope to be riding plenty for Ernst this season so it is good to make a winning start."

A second 1400m maiden was won by Bader, under Royston Ffrench and a first ever winner for trainer Hassan Saleh Al Hammadi at only the fourth attempt.

Ffrench said: "It was only the horse`s second ever run and he clearly learned a lot from the first. I had a great night on Thursday at Meydan and it is nice to get another winner especially a landmark one for the trainer."

The 1600m conditions race went to Mudallal Al Reef, ridden by Carlos Sandoval for trainer Mohammed Al Ketbi, while the following 1600m handicap was won by Jesus Rosales on GRP Mudhish, trained by Bakhit Al Ketbi.