ABU DHABI // After producing two winners in the opening race day in Abu Dhabi, Eric Lemartinel and Gerald Avranche, the trainer-jockey combination, are expecting another back-to-back success in tonight's six-race meeting in the capital.
Lemartinel, who won the opening race of the Al Wathba Stud Farm series, saddles Neferman in the Maiden race run over 2,200m, the second race of the series. Samira De Carrere goes 30 minutes later in the Saddiyat Handicap.
"It is their first outings in more than seven months but they really are fancied on the strength of the races they have run last season," Lemartinel said. "They have done their homework well and go into the races in good shape."
Neferman has not won in seven starts but drops back from Group 3 company for tonight's Maiden. Samira De Carrere made a winning bow in Abu Dhabi and placed second in the next two starts, including the UAE Arabian Derby.
Lemartinel has nine entries in five races and also expects good efforts from Albar Lotois and AF Maqam Alezz, his two runners in the second race, the Corniche Handicap, in which Sahib De Clos, the UAE Arabian Derby winner, looks the one to beat.
Sahib Du Clos makes a quick reappearance and should be fancied in the second race. Last year's UAE Arabian Derby winner ran an eye-catching second behind the classy Shadiyda in the final race of the Sheikh Zayed Cup series last Sunday, and should prove too good in the one-mile handicap.
The Saifaldeen Deeb-trained Kerbella colt will be ridden again by Richard Mullen, who can complete a double by claiming the solitary prize for the thoroughbreds on the Satish Seemar-trained Eddie Jock in the final race.