x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Ernst Oertel's big night at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club

Treble caps excellent week for trainer but 'unfortunate' saddle slip on Callateral meant Al Asayl handler could not make it four wins. Amith Passela reports.

Royston Ffrench guides Manisha to victory after mounting a late challenge at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. Sammy Dallal / The National
Royston Ffrench guides Manisha to victory after mounting a late challenge at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. Sammy Dallal / The National

ABU DHABI // A superb treble for Ernst Oertel at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club tonight moved him to the top of the trainer's championship with two more winners than the reigning UAE champion Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

Oertel's winners were ridden by three different jockeys. Royston Ffrench came with a late challenge on Manisha to take the second race while Adrian Nicholls used a similar tactic to win on Maharani half-an-hour later.

The most impressive of his three winners was Richlore ridden by Sam Hitchcott in the fourth race, a handicap rated 0-55 run over the 1,600m distance.

It could have been four for the Al Asayl trainer had it not been for a saddle slip on Callateral in the opener, won by Eric Lemartinel's Simbar Dup Loup.

"That was a bit unfortunate because he was on the back of a pretty good win and we expected a big run from him," Oertel said.

It has been an excellent week for Oertel after Capital Attraction gave him his first Dubai World Cup Carnival winner at the Meydan Racecourse on Thursday. Tonight's three winners took his tally to 24.

"It is has indeed been a great start to the season and all credit to the wonderful team at A Asayl," said the South African who became the third trainer to take in charge of the Abu Dhabi stables in three years. A lot of hard work goes behind the scenes to prepare these horses and it is not possible without a good team."

Oertel had 10 entered for four races in the six-race card and Richlore impressed him the most.

"Richlore certainly is the one I fancied the most and she didn't disappoint," he said.

"That was her second win and she has not been out of the first three in four starts. She won very well and we would expect her to improve."

Richlore made smooth headway from the middle of the pack to win by one-a-quarter length from Kana'An under David Smith and AF Dhaham ridden by Wayne Smith.

Oertel has no specific plans for his three winners but intends to run them as much as possible.

"There are not many races for the Purebred Arabians besides the opportunities in Abu Dhabi. So we need to run them at every opportunity," he said.

Simbar Du Loup won for the first time in eighth attempts in the UAE when Gerald Avranche drove the five-year-old son of Akbar around a wall of horses to take the lead at the final bend to win by two lengths from Al Waqqad. Silvestre De Sousa, the Godolphin rider who rode a double at Meydan on Saturday, steered Ibrahim Al Hadhrami's Gabas Noor to victory in the Wathba Stud Farm Cup.

Satish Seemar and Richard Mullen, the trainer-jockey combination, took the concluding thoroughbred prize on Baransky.

Mullen hit the front in the final 200m and held off the late challenge of Line Of Sight, ridden by Adrie De Vries. Mutayaser under Paul Hanagan was a fast-finishing third.

apassela@thenational.ae

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