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Nemrah Seeks to Maintain Unbeaten Record as Al Ain Nears Season End

Oertel and O’Shea Sitting Pretty at Top of Championships

Al Ain’s fourth and penultimate meeting of the track’s debut season on Friday afternoon is highlighted by an 1800m conditions race, the finale of the six race card.

Eleven have been declared, including the unbeaten Nemrah, representing the ever-powerful combination of Champion Trainer, Ernst Oertel, and Champion Jockey, Tadhg O’Shea – who both look set to defend their respective crowns successfully.

The easy winner of an Abu Dhabi maiden on her debut in November, she then followed up three weeks later in a handicap.

Both those wins were over 1600m and on turf but, if handling the Al Ain all-weather surface and the extra 300m in distance, she should make a bold bid to defend her unbeaten record.

O’Shea said: “She has done everything we have asked of her so far and improved from her debut to win a decent little handicap.

“She has been in good form at home and this looks a good race for her to step up in grade. The extra distance should suit her so, if she handles he surface, she should run well.”

Oertel actually saddles three of the 11 declared runners, all owned by HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, with Munzade to be ridden by apprentice, Daniel Muscutt and Shahryar aboard Pat Cosgrave.

Trainer Majed Al Jahouri has enjoyed a tremendous season and his representative, the Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan-owned Ghalib, takes a massive drop in class having contested the Group 1 second and third rounds of the Al Maktoum Challenge on his two most recent starts.

A Group 2 winner and Group 1-placed in his native France, he has not produced that level of form in seven starts in the UAE. He is to be ridden by apprentice, Marc Monaghan.

Eric Lemartinel has won two of the three Al Ain feature races thus far with the Athbah Stud-owned Bigg N Rich and saddles the same owner’s Mandragore Al Maury in this.

The mount of apprentice Noel Garbutt, he could be a big danger to all having at least shown he handles this surface when third here last week.

The only Thoroughbred race on the card is a 1400m handicap and 12 have been declared. Champion O’Shea is an eye-catching jockey booking for Sullivan Street, second on his local debut in a Jebel Ali maiden last week.

Trained by Ismail Mohammed, O’Shea’s mount has now been placed on turf, Polytrack and dirt. Having only his seventh career start, he could be the one to beat against plenty of exposed handicappers.

One who does not fit that category is Athman, to be ridden by Richard Mullen for his main employer, Satish Seemar. Having a fifth career start, he will be making his handicap debut, but he was a long way behind Sullivan Street last week when also making his UAE debut.

The weights are headed by the Beverley Deutrom-trained Intimidate who ran well here over 1600m last week when suggesting the return to 1400m, the trip over which he has recorded both career victories, would suit.