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Seemar Numbers-Up At Abu Dhabi

Local trainers strong in Capital`s Purebred contests

Thoroughbreds take centre stage at Abu Dhabi on Sunday with 14 declared for their 1400m handicap.

Dubai`s Zabeel Stables-trainer Satish Seemar is responsible for no less than five of the field with stable jockey Richard Mullen partnering Royal Revival.

Mullen’s mount was last seen in action when a very creditable fourth in the National Day Cup prep when he looked a big danger to all on the home turn before plugging on in the straight.

Thrice a winner at Abu Dhabi, including twice over the 1400m last season, he does seem to save his best efforts for the Capital’s turf track.

The wide draw in 11 should not be an issue given his style of racing and should the gaps open in the straight he could be the one to beat.

“He acts well around Abu Dhabi,” said Mullen. “The tight track seems to suit him and he ran well behind Forjatt last time.
“Fingers crossed, he should run a big race but it does look competitive.”

Jockey bookings suggest Lehbab to be ridden by stable apprentice Hector Crouch could be best of the Seemar’s other four runners.

After a Jebel Ali treble on Friday Ali Rashid Al Raihe clearly has his team in great form. The Granstand Stables-trainer will saddle Tanseeb and Alraased.

Both are owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum with the owner`s ‘second’ jockey, Dane O’Neill, riding Tanseeb as ‘first’ jockey, Paul Hanagan has chosen to ride the Musabah Al Muhairi-trained Ebn Arab.

Hanagan’s pick was well beaten on his return to action this season but that was at Meydan, on dirt and over 1200m.

Sunday’s conditions look far more suitable and both his career victories, when trained in England by Charles Hills, were achieved over 1400m under Hanagan. He is starting to look well handicapped and it would be no surprise to see him at least go close.

Training from Oasis Stables, next-door to Al Raihe in Dubai, Al Muhairi also saddles Special Boy who has to be respected under Fernando Jara tackling what would appear to be his optimum conditions.

The other five races are all for the Purebred Arabians with the best of them being a 1600m conditions contest for fillies and mares.

The race looks set to be dominated by trainers Eric Lemartinel and Nacer Samiri, both based in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, who will saddle three runners each.

On ratings, the Lemartinel-trained Arwaah is the one to beat and was a Group Two winner in her native France last year. The choice of jockey Tadhg O’Shea, she does have to concede weight to her 11 rivals but this looks an easier assignment than her two previous UAE outings.

“She is dropping back in trip,” said O’Shea. “We think that will suit her and this looks a good opportunity for her. It is a decent little race but she has been going well at home and we are hopeful.”

Lemartinel also saddles Estourah, to be ridden by Gerald Avranche and Bashayer, the mount of Royston Ffrench but Arwaah would appear the main hope.

Less clear cut is identifying the best of the Samiri-trained trio with Mullen’s mount Haizoom perhaps just getting the nod.
She won a maiden at Al Ain on her previous outing but has shown reasonable form on turf, both in Europe and at Abu Dhabi.

Wayne Smith partners her stable companion Da’Areen, a course and distance winner in March, with Haanoof and Pat Dobbs completing the Samiri representation.
A three-times winner in the UAE, with Dobbs aboard each time, she too has won over track and trip.