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O`Shea Hits Triple Form at Sharjah

Photo: Erika Rasmussen (www.erikarphotography.com)

Champion Jockey Tadhg O’Shea was the man to follow at Sharjah’s third meeting of the season on Saturday afternoon, winning half of the six races. He and Champion Trainer, Ernst Oertel, maintaining his own good form, made a victorious start to proceedings, combining with Fatat Al Arab in the opening 1200m maiden.

Runner-up on her debut at Abu Dhabi only last week, behind impressive stable companion, Molahen El Alham, she collared Safir Bainuna close home to open her account at the second attempt, responding well to O’Shea’s determined driving.

The pair have had a winner at each of the five meetings Oertel has saddled a runner and an hour later the handler completed his first double of the current season with Sheikh Down who led in the final strides in a 2000m handicap.

O’Shea said: “The filly is a nice young horse who is still learning but clearly benefitted from her first run last week. Sheikh Down has ability but can be quite hard work for his jockey as you saw there.

Oertel added: “We have some nice horses again this year and they are running well. Long may it continue!”

The jockey went on to complete a treble and was again at his strongest aboard Shahla who led close home in the penultimate contest, a 1700m maiden. Pat Cosgrave’s mount Muwajha led into the straight but virtually stopped, allowing numerous challengers to stake their claim.

Muwajha ran on again to finish third in a three-way photo with Es Zeriyab dividing him and the winner.

O’Shea said: “She really responded in the final 100m and we just put our head in front where it matters. It has been a good afternoon.”

Safir Bainuna’s connections, owner / trainer Ahmed Al Mehairbi and jockey Harry Bentley may have been denied in the opener but gained quick compensation with NS Shamikh who won a second 1200m maiden. It was a first winner for the trainer who had saddled only five runners over the previous two seasons and his first of the new campaign.

He said: “Obviously it is great to get the first winner and our first runner of the season was only just beaten so we have to be pleased.”

He was not the only trainer to open their account with another rookie trainer, Elise Joanne, saddling her very first winner in the concluding 1700m handicap, won by MH Areeb who led close home under Jose Santiago.

Local apprentice, Saeed Al Mazrooei has made a bright start to the season and recorded his third victory when making all on Watheeq in the only Thoroughbred race, a 2000m handicap, less than 24 hours after employing similar tactics to win the concluding race at Jebel Ali on Mutajare.

Both are owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and trained by Ali Rashid Al Raihe. A delighted jockey said: “We wanted to be positive on him and he really enjoyed it out in front. He then picked up when I asked and ran on strongly.

“I am grateful for these opportunities and can only thank every one involved.”