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Sheikh Hamdan Runners Take First Four Spots in Abu Dhabi Feature

Jawhar (IRE)
Photo: Erika Rasmussen (www.erikarphotography.com)

Trainer Oertel Tightens Grip on Championship

HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum`s colours were the first four past the post in the 1600m Thoroughbred feature at Abu Dhabi`s penultimate meeting of the season.

Jawhar, sporting the first colours, under the owner’s retained jockey, Paul Hanagan, was the winner from Doug Watson`s yard. He beat stable companion, Mujrayaat with Funon and Entifaadha, both trained by Musabah Al Muhairi, third and fourth.

Less than two lengths separated the fist seven home.

Hanagan produced Jawhar to lead inside the final 200m and the pair were always going to hold on. Hanagan said: “It was my only ride on the card so makes the trip worthwhile and I am glad to have picked the right one from eight!

“I was always pretty happy and he has probably won a touch snugly.”

Champion Trainer Ernst Oertel is definitely in the driving seat as he bids to retain his crown and he supplied both first and second in a 1600m conditions contest restricted to fillies and mares.

Champion Jockey Tadhg O’Shea was on the right one, steering RB Dixie Burning to a comfortable win, her second in only two starts, from stable companion Richly Blessed.

O’Shea said: “She is a very nice, young, filly and a really nice prospect. She has always worked really nicely at home and won well at Al Ain on her debut. She has reproduced that form on the turf here and will hopefully progress.”

The win took Oertel to 35 winners, three more than closest pursuer, Musabah Al Muhairi.

Oertel wasted no time in extending that lead, saddling Hab Nessnas to win the following 1600m handicap in an exciting race where several runners held every chance with 300m to run.

It was at this point that Cosgrave’s mount threw down his challenge before hitting the front with under 200m to go and the pair ran on strongly. Cosgrave said: “This horse may not be the easiest to win with but he has plenty of ability and that is job done this evening.”

The French duo of trainer Eric Lemartinel and jockey Gerald Avranche are always a formidable partnership and they combined with AF Masharef, the impressive winner of the opening 1600m maiden.

Second on her previous start, the filly was settled in midfield by Avranche, before the pair made smooth progress in the straight, hitting the front 200m out and recording a comfortable victory.

Avranche said: “She is improving and that was only her fourth start. Her second last time was a good run and she has won this nicely.

“Hopefully she has more to come.”

Trainer Mohd Ramadan could not have been more vociferous cheering home his Ubu Al Mels in the 1600m handicap, his first winner of the campaign with his 69th runner. The cheering started when his charge and Royston Ffrench hit the front early in the straight and the volume increased as it became clear they were not going to be caught.

Ffrench said: “We were pretty hopeful coming into the race as this is a horse I won on at Sharjah in the past and know well. The plan was always pretty simple; to lead or be handy and it has worked perfectly.

“I am delighted for the trainer, who works so hard and, of course, the owner.”

Apprentice, Thomas Brown was aboard Wadi Al Sail, who, after a tardy start, won the 1400m handicap to provide trainer Omar Daraj Mohammed his third winner of the season. The winner was recording his second success of the campaign and Brown said: “We were a bit slowly away but he travelled well throughout the race. He took me to the front probably a bit earlier than I wanted but he ran on well enough and seems to be improving.”