New year`s double Lemartinel and O`shea

Trainer Eric Lemartinel started 2011 in the same rich vein of form he finished 2010 with a double at Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening, taking his seasonal tally to 14.

Champion Jockey Tadhg O`Shea was also in double form and kick-started his brace on Lemartinel`s AF Dhaham in the 1400m conditions race.

Having only his fourth start, O`Shea`s mount led close home to win going away and the jockey said: "He has had very little racing and is improving. I rode him to his other win over a lot further and he has done well to win over that trip."‬‬‪‪

David Smith was in the saddle on Lemartinel`s earlier winner, Naseem Al Reef who denied stable companion AF Maqam Alezz in the 1600m handicap in which the trainer`s third runner, Mooser, was fourth.

Smith said: "He stayed on really strongly and I thought we would get there. It is great to get a ride for Mr Lemartinel who does so well with his horses."‬‬‪‪

O`Shea was also in double form and landed the concluding 2200m conditions race on the Gill Duffield-trained Takaamul.

Like his earlier winner, his charge was coping with a marked drop in trip and O`Shea said: "He needed every yard of that and is a nice young prospect. Hopefully there is more to come."‬‬‪‪

There was only one Thoroughbred race on the card, a 1m handicap, and it was another winner for apprentice Harry Bentley on the Satish Seemar-trained Warriors Key who was never far off the pace.‬‬‪‪

Bentley said: "He was a course and distance winner so I knew we had a lot in our favour after three decent runs this season. The horses are running exceptionally well and it has been a remarkable experience for me thus far in the UAE.‬‬‪‪ I really only thought I would be work riding so am indebted to Mr Seemar and the owners for giving me this amazing chance."‬‬‪‪

Racing opened with a 1600m handicap in which Pat Cosgrave made virtually all on Mahalli for trainer Jameel Salman, while Rory Cleary was in the saddle on Jibril who won the 1600m maiden for trainer Saifaldin Deeb.