x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Ernst Oertel doubles up at Meydan

Ernst Oertel ended the year by saddling a superb double at the Meydan Racecourse, marking his first success on the track and first success with the thoroughbreds for the Al Asayl Stables.

Averroes won at Meydan on Saturday for Al Asayl Stables and Ernst Oertel.
Averroes won at Meydan on Saturday for Al Asayl Stables and Ernst Oertel.

DUBAI // Ernst Oertel ended the year by saddling a superb double at the Meydan Racecourse, marking his first success on the track and first success with the thoroughbreds for the Al Asayl Stables.

Averroes, under jockey Cristian Demuro, provided the South African his first winner in the third race, and James Doyle rode Capital Attraction to victory in the fifth as Oertel scooped up both the featured handicaps rated 80-100 in the six-race card.

"We haven't had much luck at Meydan, so we were more hopeful than confident of winning," said Oertel, who took charge of the Abu Dhabi stables of the UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed in the summer. "We have only eight thoroughbreds and having got off the mark with them, we are now more hopeful of building for the next season.

"Averroes is a nice new recruit to the yard and had some good form in the UK for Clive Cox. He won his most recent start at Ascot, when ridden by Mirco Demuro, so both brothers have won on him now.

"We were hoping he would stay this far and act on [the All-Weather] and, luckily, he has. Averroes is Carnival-rated already and it would be nice if Capital Attraction could join him as he clearly likes this surface."

Oertel has already won four races with the Purebred Arabians, including the first race of the season in Abu Dhabi on October 30.

Averroes was impressive on his UAE debut. The four-year-old chestnut son of Galileo took up the running on the final turn and progressed strongly to win by more than seven lengths from Royaaty and jockey Patrick Cosgrave, and Achill Bay, ridden by Richard Mullen, was farther six-and-three-quarter lengths back in third. Travel Jig, under Wayne Smith, opened up a 14-length lead halfway through the 2,800-metre distance. However, the four-year-old son of Gone West, who ran a similar race and won in Abu Dhabi, ran out of steam as the field approached the final turn.

In the fifth race, Capital Attraction, having run a decent fifth behind Fervent Prince at Jebel Ali, made smooth headway to win the rematch over his conqueror (Carlos Sandoval) over the same 1,400m distance.

Ali Rashid Al Raihe, the UAE champion trainer, also won a double to take his tally to 23, four more than his closest challenger, Doug Watson.

Royston Ffrench, the stable jockey, was on the saddle in both his winners, Enjoy Today and Hajoum, who held on to win in a photo finish from Mortbet under Doyle.

 

apassela@thenational.ae