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Oertel Hopes To Skoop Abu Dhabi`s UAE Arabian Derby



A good renewal of the UAE Arabian Derby is the feature at Abu Dhabi this Sunday evening with 13 declared for the 2200m Prestige race restricted to four-year-olds.

Skoop, now with trainer, Ernst Oertel, represents an interesting runner. Oertel, who has enjoyed a fantastic season so far, is saddling Skoop on his first UAE start after the horse landed his only previous race in his native France over 1850m. He will be ridden on Sunday by Champion Jockey Tadhg O`Shea who said: "He is a lovely big horse who is going very well at home. Obviously he lacks the experience of some of these, including stable companion Najm Alemarat who is also a nice horse, and has been off since May but he certainly has bags of potential."

Trainer Ibrahim Al Hadhrami and Godolphin jockey Silvestre De Sousa have proved a combination to follow in recent weeks, and on Friday combined to claim a winner at Jebel Ali victory with AF Kamaash. They are represented here by Wald Johnny. Winner of a 1400m maiden on his sole start to date under De Sousa, he steps up markedly in trip but the jockey, who also landed Al Maktoum Challenge Round II on Hunter`s Light at Meydan on Thursday, sounds confident.

"He is a nice young horse and I was impressed when he won first time," he said. "That was a fortnight ago and should have improved a lot for that experience over a trip that was on the short side for him. The extra distance should be very much in his favour and the yard are in form. Obviously it is a better race but he should go very well."

The Royal Cavalry Of Oman have secured the services of Adrie De Vries, who rode a Jebel Ali double on Friday, for Vazs Mane Son, winner of three of his five previous starts but beaten on his sole turf start in a Group 2 contest at Newbury.

Another interesting local debutant is Pilepoile, the mount of Wayne Smith for owner/trainer Ahmed Abdullah Al Marzooqi and the winner of three of his five starts in Oman.

Magik Du Paon, trained on the course by Eric Lemartinel, is another to consider under Gerald Avranche who will be sporting the colours of owner Ali Haddad which were carried to Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge victory by Albar Lotois at Meydan on Thursday.

The main support race is the Abu Dhabi Fillies` Classic, for four-year-old fillies, in which Oertel and O`Shea will be hoping Sheyel Aldhabi can maintain her unbeaten UAE record having won all three starts since her switch from France where she was fifth on her only outing. She will probably need a career best though as she has to give weight to all her 14 rivals.

The only Thoroughbred race is the concluding 1600m handicap with the maximum field of 16 set to face the starter. El Wasmi made all over course and distance two weeks ago for Champion Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe and stable apprentice Saeed Al Mazrooei and could be hard to catch again if able to get to the lead from his wide draw.