Second Al Ain Meeting Highlighted by 1800m Conditions Contest

Friday’s second meeting at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting and Golf Club follows in the wake of the track’s highly successful inaugural card two weeks ago and once again boasts full fields in every race.

The afternoon is highlighted by an 1800m conditions race, the concluding event of six on the new sand fibre all-weather track at Al Ain.

A full field of 14 will face the starter for the feature, including Theoretically, trained by Eric Lemartinel who saddled Bigg N Rich to win a similar 1600m event at the first meeting.

Gerald Avranche, who will be riding at the track for the first time, takes the ride and said: “He is a nice horse, who stays well, so hopefully this trip will suit him on the new surface. It looks a good contest and I am looking forward to riding at the new course.

“The jockeys I have spoken to about it have been very positive.”

Two weeks ago Bigg N Rich was chased home by AF Lafeh who could well be the one to beat here, with Royston Ffrench aboard for his main employer, Ali Rashid Al Raihe, Ffrench rode half of the six winners at that first meeting and said: “It was a great first day at a new track and hopefully I will have a winner or two again. AF Lafeh ran very well that day and should go very close.”

Richlore, representing the UAE Champion Trainer and Jockey combination of Ernst Oertel and Tadhg O’Shea, was a place behind Ffrench’s mount two weeks ago, producing a career best effort.

Former Champion Jockeys Wayne Smith and Ted Durcan are others riding at Al Ain for the first time.

Smith, who returned from injury last week, rides local debutant, Vulkain D’Albret for Ibrahim Al Hadhrami. A winner once in Europe, Smith’s mount possesses some decent form in defeat and Smith said: “I rode in a couple of trials at Al Ain last year and was impressed so it will be nice to race on it this week.

“My horse is rated 109 and his form looks good. He won on the all-weather in Europe so should like the surface.”

Durcan rides Lwiza for Jaber Bittar.

AF Tharb, winner of a 1600m handicap at the first meeting for Ffrench and Helal Al Alawi, seeks a second course and distance victory when facing 13 rivals in another handicap.

Silvestre De Sousa rides, with Ffrench aboard the Al Hadhrami-trained AF Rahia.

Twelve will face the starter in the only Thoroughbred race on the card, a 1400m handicap, with Wayne Smith’s mount, Colour Guard, trained by Musabah Al Muhairi, attempting to give weight to his 11 rivals.

He was fourth at the first meeting in a 1600m handicap so the surface certainly suits.

Fifth on that occasion was Lord Tiger, trained by Satish Seemar whose stable jockey, Richard Mullen, chooses to ride stable companion, Fieriness.

The Dhruba Selvaratnam-trained Gobooll, the mount of James Doyle and Mouteab, trained by Al Raihe and the choice of Paul Hanagan from three runners owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, both look certain to appreciate the all-weather surface.