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Oisin Murphy Drives TM AC-DC to Al Ain Conditions Win

Photo: Erika Rasmussen (www.erikarphotography.com)

Omar Daraj Mohammed`s Charge Holds off Late Challenge

Young jockey Oisin Murphy and trainer Omar Daraj Mohammed combined to land the featured 1000m conditions race at Al Ain yesterday afternoon with TM AC-DC.

Always near the head of affairs, the pair hit the front about 200m from home but had to dig deep to hold the late challenges of Wald Johnny and finally A’Nnabak W’Rsan.

The trio, half the six-strong field, were separated by just over a length at the line.

“We went pretty quick for a Purebred Arabian race,” aid Murphy. “He clearly has some speed and then showed his tenacity to fight off the other pair.

“It is nice to get a winning outside ride on a Purebred Arabian.”

Racing opened with an 1800m handicap which had looked competitive on paper beforehand, but with a couple of the expected principles proving disappointing, it was left to the Ibrahim Al Hadhrami-trained Zeyad to open his career account at the sixth time of asking.

Dane O’Neill set out to make all on Alameer but had no answer to Zeyad who was driven to the front 300m from home by Royston Ffrench and the pair soon opened up a decisive advantage.

“They went pretty quick early on, said Ffrench. “He has travelled well into the race and quickened when I asked. He has not had much racing and can progress.”

That winner carries the colours of The Royal Cavalry Of Oman and these were the same colours carried to victory in the next race as Al Hadhrami`s Ash`Han registered smooth success in a 1600m maiden.

Having only his third career start, he provided Polish jockey Szcepan Mazur a first UAE winner.

“Obviously I am delighted to open my UAE account,” said the young jockey. “I am not sure how good a race it was but he won very well and have to thank connections for this opportunity.”

The only Thoroughbred race, a 1400m maiden provided Ffrench the perfect chance to complete his own double, partnering Beachy Head to a smooth victory for his main employer, Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

They looked to go pretty quick early on and Ffrench’s mount was a bit outpaced in the early stages but, once they turned for home, those racing prominently started to tire.

Meanwhile, Ffrench was making relentless progress on the eventual winner and they were able to hit the front well inside the final 200m.

“The horses have been running well all season,” said Ffrench. “This was only his second career start and we have to be very pleased with him as he can only improve as he gets more experience.”

“We have made a great start and long may it continue.

Qatar’s Champion Jockey, Harry Bentley, was aboard Nichem Al Mels, winner of a 2000m handicap restricted to horses owned by private owners. Ahmed Al Mehairbi saddled the winner who was losing his maiden tag at the sixth attempt.

Bentley always looked to be gong well and was never far off the speed set by Fylthy Rich. That rival cried enough about 600m out, leaving Ameer Al Sraya, on whom Ffrench was seeking a treble, in front.

However, Bentley’s mount was still on the bridle. Ffrench’s mount fought valiantly but had no answer in the closing 200m as Bentley kicked for home.

“That was a bit of a surprise,” said Bentley. “I was obviously hoping for a winner and he really carried me into the race like a decent performer. It was only his sixth start and he can progress with luck.”

The final race, a 1000m handicap, went to Magik Du Paon, a first winner of the season for both trainer, Eric Lemartinel and jockey, Gerald Avranche.