x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Avranche is looking good to partner an avalanche of winners

Gerald Avranche, the Bahrain-based French jockey, has found regular work in Abu Dhabi as he plies his trade across the Gulf.

ABU DHABI // Gerald Avranche, the Bahrain-based French jockey, has found regular work in Abu Dhabi as he plies his trade across the Gulf. He flies to the capital every Sunday for Eric Lemartinel, the Abu Dhabi trainer, and their partnership is running into its third year. His trip tonight may again prove to be rewarding with four fancied bookings in the six-race card at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.

"Gerald regularly rides in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait when he has no work in Bahrain," said Lemartinel. "He is free on Sundays for me and this arrangement works pretty well for the rider to have a good understanding of the horses and our work arrangements." Avranche has ridden seven of the 10 winners this season for Lemartinel and the trainer is confident his compatriot will have another lucrative evening's work on four of his runners - AS Raid, Raneet, Nabila and Rafed.

Nabila looks the class act in the Al Wathba Stud Farm purebred Arabians conditions race, reserved for the private owners, an event that has become a regular feature in Abu Dhabi. "It is a competitive handicap but Nabila should be right up there with a chance," said Lemartinel. "She has run four times and has done enough to suggest she can win a race. "AS Raid has run well in all his three starts and should get this prize if he can run true to his potential. Raneet is a little bit lazy and we are trying him with first- time blinkers. He is well exposed and should run a good race. And Rafed is one of the best local bred in training and has already won twice from his five starts. He should run a big race."

Lemartinel also saddles Dahes in the fifth race, a handicap rated 0-75. The six-year-old gelding is ridden by the stable apprentice, Wancelas Walter, as Avranche cannot make the weight. He is another with a chance for the stable, although El Rigolitto looks to have the best credentials, and Rachidia also has a chance. apassela@thenational.ae