ABU DHABI // Ernst Oertel saddled four winners on Sunday, including Skoop in the UAE Arabian Derby and Shayel Aldhabi in the Emirates Fillies Classic, to regain the lead in the trainers' championship.
The South African took his tally to 28 winners, one more than Ali Rashid Al Raihe, the reigning UAE champion trainer.
Skoop and Najm Alemarat led a one-two finish in the featured race for the Al Asayl Stables trainer to complete the quadruple last night at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.
Shayel Aldhabi extended her winning streak to four in the main supporting race on the six-race card after Hab Nessnas and Chick Flick had won the first two races for Oertel.
Hab Nessnas was an impressive three-and-a-half length winner in the 16-runner maiden over the 1,400m distance from Solo Restoreto, ridden by Royston Ffrench. Three of the four winners for Oertel were ridden by Tadhg O'Shea, the stable jockey.
James Doyle on Chick Flick denied the UAE champion jockey, who was on Richlore in the stable's first colours, from completing a four-timer.
"Winning three races including the two feature prizes were good enough for me," O'Shea said. "Richlore was not his usual self and got beat by a better horse on the night, but I was really pleased with the rest of the winners, and they all did win very nicely, indeed.
"Skoop lived up to his top billing and Shayel Aldhabi is a very good filly and did it more easily than his three previous wins. Hab Nessnas improved from his two runs and was an impressive winner, too."
The hat-trick on the night took O'Shea's tally to 22 winners, three more than Wayne Smith, his closest challenger.
Skoop's debut victory in the UAE impressed Oertel so much that he has named him as the stable's future star.
"Skoop at the moment is the horse we hope will carry the yard's hopes in the big races next season," the trainer said.
"He ran in France in May and won his only start before a chipped bone ruled him out for the remainder of that season. He was coming back from surgery and ran a very good first race for the yard.
"We are very pleased of his first run in a long time. We wanted to teach him a little bit in the race and that's why we got him sit behind for most part of the race."
Oertel was also impressed by the derby runner-up, Najm Alemarat, who led briefly before being collared close to the winning post by Skoop.
"He ran a brilliant race," Oertel said. "He did nothing wrong and he just got mugged on the line by Skoop. Najm is a lovely horse and a brother to Fryvolous [a multiple Group 1 winner including the Dubai Kahayla Classic in 2009]. He has improved and improved since he arrived from France."
Oertel was all praise for the breeding programme of the Al Asayl Stables for the success he has had so far in the season.
"It's good for our breeding programme as we don't go around buying horses," he said.
"Shayel Aldhabi is one we bred and she's gone from strength to strength to win four races on the trot.
"All in all, the success we have had is because of the quality of the horses that come through our breeding programme and the wonderful team we have in place."
The Doug Watson trained Mujrayaat, under Patrick Dobbs, won in a photo finish from the Al Raihe's Switzerland with Ffrench onboard in the concluding thoroughbred prize.
Ted Durcan rode Fakhruddin Nizamuddin's Aryaf to win the Wathba Stud Farm Cup earlier in the day.
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