Oertel ovation closes 2011 at Meydan

Trainer Ernst Oertel saddled the winners of the two most valuable Thoroughbred handicaps as racing bade farewell to the UAE for 2011 at Meydan on Saturday evening.

On a card generously sponsored by Al Basti Equiworld, their first winner was Averroes who made a winning local debut in the 2800m Al Basti Equiworld Foran Cup. Settled in rear in the early stages by Cristian Demuro, brother of Dubai World Cup winning jockey Mirco, the four-year-old made smooth progress to lead 400m out and the pair were soon clear to post a comfortable success.

Oertel said: "He is a nice new recruit to the yard and had some good form in the UK for Clive Cox. He won his most recent start in the UK, when ridden by Mirco Demuro so both brothers have won on him now. We were hoping he would stay this far and act on [the All-Weather] and, luckily, he has."

Oertel was back in the winner`s enclosure just over an hour later with James Doyle the man in the saddle on this occasion when Capital Attraction won the 1400m Al Basti Equiworld Hartog Cup. He was having his second start in the UAE having shown a lot of promise first time at Jebel Ali and Doyle said: "I was very pleased with him first time as he had been off since July and just seemed to tire in the final 200m. I was hoping for a big run from him and he delivered in what was a competitive race."

Oertel added: "Averroes is Carnival rated already and it would be nice if Capital Attraction could join him as he clearly likes this surface."

Also in double form was Champion Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe who looks to have a nice young horse on his hands in the shape of Enjoy Today who won the 1600m maiden, the Al Basti Equiworld Blue Frog Trophy on only his third career start.

Regally-bred, the three-year-old son of Kingmambo had made a pleasing local start over 1200m and can hopefully build on this. He was partnered by stable jockey Royston Ffrench who said: "We were delighted with his Sharjah run and arrived here very hopeful. It was probably not a great race but he did it nicely."

Jockey and trainer were also in double form and combined with Hajoum to win the 1200m Al Basti Equiworld - Omega Alpha Cup. It was the horse`s sixth start of the season already and Ffrench said: "We have really liked this horse from the moment he arrived and he works at home like a very good horse. Finally he has shown on the track what he does in his work and the drop to 1200m has probably been the key."

The opening 1600m Al Basti Equiworld Baileys Cup, the only Purebred Arabian handicap on the card, was won by the Tony Manuel-trained Sarabella under Carlos Sandoval.

Manuel has enjoyed a good start to the season and said: "We have been very pleased with the first part of the season and hopefully it can continue into 2012."

The final UAE race of 2011 in the UAE, a 1900m Al Basti Equiworld Hygain Trophy, was won by Radegund Abbery, trained by Satish Seemar and ridden by Richard Mullen who said: "The [All-Weather] suits him and so does this kind of trip. He probably did not stay 2400m at Abu Dhabi last time. That is the best way to end 2011!"