Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 August 2019

Al Ain kicks off busy weekend for UAE horse racing on Thursday

Action then moves to Jebel Ali and Sharjah on Friday and Saturday with Purebred Arabians and thoroughbreds getting a run

Al Asayl trainer Eric Lemartinel saddles 14 runners in five of the six races at Al Ain Racecourse on Thursday. Reem Mohammed / The National
Al Asayl trainer Eric Lemartinel saddles 14 runners in five of the six races at Al Ain Racecourse on Thursday. Reem Mohammed / The National

The UAE horse racing season enters its fourth week with three meetings scheduled over three days across the Emirates, starting at Al Ain on Thursday followed by Jebel Ali and Sharjah over the weekend.

At the Al Ain Racecourse, Eric Lemartinel, the leading trainer for Purebred Arabians last season, has 14 runners in five of the six races for the breed in a seven-race card that also include a race for thoroughbreds.

Bashayer, Marahib and Tawazun, under the stable jockey Pat Cosgrave, look the pick of Lemartinel’s entries in the second, fifth and seventh races respectively.

Satish Seemar is double-handed in the solitary race for the thoroughbreds with Iftitah and Heraldic.

Iftitah is the choice of the stable’s first jockey, Richard Mullen, but assistant trainer Bhupat Seemar believes both horses can challenge for victory having already got a run each under their belt this term.

“Our horses have been improving for their seasonal debuts,” he said. “Iftitah proved last season he handles the Al Ain surface, whereas Heraldic will be trying it for the first time.

“We hope it will suit and both should be competitive in an open race.”


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On Friday the action moves to Jebel Ali Racecourse where Erwan Charpy will hope to see Cranesbill first past the post for the first time this campaign.

In two runs this season, the colt finished second behind Cape Of Eagles at the same track and finished strongly for third place behind Parliamentarian and Jamesian at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on his last start.

“He starts slowly but has run two good races in defeat,” Charpy said. “We expect him to go close again. Hopefully he can win, which is long overdue.”

The Frenchman is double-handed in the sixth race with Aleko and newcomer Diamond Wine, and runs another exciting newcomer Branscombe in the concluding handicap.

“Aleko was a winner over the course and distance in his last start last season, and Diamond Wine is another good addition to the stables, coming after a pretty good campaign in France,” added Charpy.

“They both will probably need the run. Branscombe is coming after a busy British campaign. He’s won on the All Weather and we’ll see how he handles the dirt surface at Jebel Ali.”

Updated: November 14, 2018 03:01 PM



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