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Oisin Murphy and TM Ac-Dc Head Field for Al Ain Feature

Six Declared for Sprint Highlight

Saturday’s third meeting of the season at Al Ain Racecourse is highlighted by a 1000m conditions race for which only six have been declared, headed by TM Ac-Dc.

The mount of Oisin Murphy, he is trained by Omar Daraj and did win, over 1400m, on the Abu Dhabi turf last season. He has also finished second over this 1000m trip at the same venue but was well-beaten over Saturday’s course and distance three weeks ago.

Champion Jockey, Tadhg O’Shea, partners Shojaa’Alghabra, for Helal Al Alawi, having partnered the same horse to a winning debut in a 1200m maiden two weeks ago.

“That was a very pleasing start to the horse’s career,” said O’Shea. “He showed plenty of speed that day so should cope with the drop in trip and he should have more to come.”

Richard Mullen and Jaci Wickham have enjoyed plenty of success as a partnership over the years and they combine with A’Nnabak W’Rsan. His sole victory was achieved in a 1200m Jebel Ali maiden in December 2010 but this looks a weaker race than many he has contested recently.

“He has had two runs already this season so fitness should not be an issue,” said Mullen. “It does not look a great race and hopefully he will be competitive.”

The only Thoroughbred race is a 1400m maiden and Mullen rides Athman for his main employer, Satish Seemar, and he looks sure to go close with the yard in such good form.

Mullen almost prevailed on Seemar’s charge two weeks ago, just failing in a 1200m Sharjah maiden and this extra 200m should suit.

“That was a good effort at Sharjah on his first start of the season,” said Mullen. “He should have improved with the outing under his belt and, if handling this different dirt surface and with the yard in such good form, hopefully he will be hard to beat.”

Seemar also saddles debutant Piepowder Court, a four-year-old half-brother to Grade 1 winner Questing and the mount of stable apprentice, Marc Monaghan.

The meeting opens with an 1800m handicap and a fascinating rematch between the Majed Al Jahouri-trained Laahaq who denied Bedayer Al Asayl in the final strides over 2000m at Sharjah a fortnight ago.

Saeed Al Mazrouei again rides Laahaq with O’Shea aboard Bedayer Al Asayl, as he was two weeks ago, for Ernst Oertel.
That was a first defeat on only her third career start for Oertel’s mare and she should reverse the form having shown sign of inexperience in both her starts this season.

“We were unlucky at Sharjah,” said O’Shea. “I was forced to make the running with nobody else wanting to go on and she just faltered a bit close home.

“The winner literally only headed us on the line and this slightly shorter trip should suit us more than him. We have to be very hopeful.”

With the Al Alawi-trained Knife, the mount of Monaghan, among the 11 declarations, there should be no lack of pace in the race which should boost the chances of O’Shea’s mount.