Oertel Claims Three From Six at Abu Dhabi

Champion Trainer Continues Hot Form

Champion Trainer Ernst Oertel was in flying form at Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening, saddling the first three winners on the card.

Champion Jockey, Tadhg O’Shea was also in the winner`s circle, combining with Oertel to claim the first two races.

Racing opened with a 1600m Maiden and O’Shea made virtually every yard of the running on debutante, Namrah. Clearly confident in her ability, O’Shea said: “She is a lovely young filly and one we really like. We were very hopeful coming here after what she has showed us at home but they need to do it on the track, and she certainly has.

“It looked a fair race for its type so we have to be very happy with that and, fingers crossed, she has a lot more to offer.”

Connections were back in the winner’s enclosure just 30 minutes later when Molahen Ahlam made it two wins from only two starts in the following 1600m conditions race.

It was a fair performance, conceding weight to his seven rivals and the jockey said: “He is a big horse and when we jumped the saddle moved forward but luckily he has a long neck so it was not a disaster. Considering the in-race issues and the fact he was giving weight away, that was a good performance.”

O’Shea appeared on course for a treble for Oertel and his main patron, H H Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in the following 1600m handicap but his mount, Sheikh Down, was caught close home by stable companion, Shahryar, a first winner of the season for jockey, Adrian Nicholls.

“These are always great spare rides,” said Nicholls. “It is obviously a great yard to ride for and Tadhg O’Shea was very helpful with his advice as how to ride him.

“It is a great result for owner and trainer and a privilege to be involved.”

Frenchman Eric Lemartinel, based at Abu Dhabi, rarely leaves his local track empty handed and he saddled Ibn Battuta Monlau to win the 2200m handicap under compatriot Gerald Avranche.

The trainer said: "He ran here two weeks ago and needed that run. It put him spot on for this and he won nicely. He needs these stamina trips to be seen at his best.”

Dhruba Selvaratnam appeared set to saddle a rare Purebred Arabian winner when Joyous Dream hit the front 200m out in the 2200m conditions race, only for he and James Doyle to be collared close home by AF Muwall’Aa, completing a rapid double for Lemartinel and Avranche.

The only Thoroughbred race on the card, the concluding 2200m handicap, was won by Udabaa, trained by Doug Watson and ridden by Dane O’Neill for his main employer HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Watson said: "We were very hopeful coming into the race as he ran some good races here in the past when nothing really went right.

“This is a nice horse who goes well here and at Meydan so, hopefully, we can find the right race for him next time.”