Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 30 September 2020

Eric Lemartinel targets Abu Dhabi Fillies and Colts Classic double

Al Asayl Stables trainer will send six horses in two races on Sunday

Trainer Eric Lemartinel will be aiming for the double in Abu Dhabi. Erika Rasmussen for The National
Trainer Eric Lemartinel will be aiming for the double in Abu Dhabi. Erika Rasmussen for The National

Eric Lemartinel is aiming for the Abu Dhabi Fillies and Colts Classic double in the fifth race meeting at the capital’s racecourse on Sunday.

The Al Asayl Stables trainer has been successful in the two races for locally bred three-year-old Purebred Arabians. But this will be the first time he bids to complete the double at the same meeting.

Fabrice Veron, the first jockey for Lemartinel, rides Dhafra and Maqam in the fillies and colts races respectively.

Dhafra won on her racecourse debut convincingly when making every yard of the running over the course and distance five weeks ago.

Maqam has run twice, taking second spot behind AF Yeheeb over the 1,000m dash and following up with victory over the extended 1,200m at Sharjah.

Lemartinel is confident all his six horses in the two races will be competitive.

“Dhafra won her only start pretty well and I would expect her to improve again,” the Frenchman said of the Abu Elemarat filly.

“Al Worood has run twice on the dirt surface in Sharjah and wasn’t beaten very far both times. She tackled the seven-furlong trip for the first time but I expect her to be better on the turf. Jamrah too will improve from her only start in Sharjah."

Completing his trio in the colts’ race are Tair under Adrie de Vries atop and Thamer with Jesus Rosales atop.

“Maqam was runner-up in his first start and won the next in Sharjah,” Lemartinel added.

“He’s run well both times on the sand and I expect him to be competitive with the other two. Tair finished ahead of Thamer but they can both improve from that experience. Hopefully one of them can go on and win the prize for us.”

Ernst Oertel sends out AF Nashrah in the fillies’ race. The South African trainer is double handed in the colts’ race with AF Musanneh, the choice of first jockey Tadhg O’Shea and AF Yeheeb under Antonio Fresu.

The six-race card flags off with the only race for the thoroughbreds that has drawn a dozen runners.

The Fawzi Nass-trained Valcartier with two solid third place finishes in his two starts on the turf at Meydan last season looks the pick of the lot.

The five-year-old gelded son of Redoute’s Choice is a former Godolphin inmate and will be having his fourth local start under the Bahraini trainer Nass.

Justin Byrne, spokesman of Emirates Entertainment Racing Club who co-own Valcartier, said: “We are really looking forward to getting him back on the track, because we have always thought he was a (Dubai World Cup) Carnival horse.”

Updated: December 15, 2019 12:06 PM

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