Trainer Eric Lemartinel upbeat on chances of success in December 9 race
National Day Cup next goal for Darius Du Paon after Abu Dhabi win
Trainer Eric Lemartinel plans to race Darius Du Paon in the National Day Cup next month after seeing his charge triumph at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club’s opening meeting for the season on Saturday.
Lemartinel's horse, ridden by Olivier Doleuze, riding in the UAE for the first time, prevailed in the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan National Day Cup Prep, a Rated Conditions for Purebred Arabians run over the 1,600-metre trip.
Lemartinel was pleased with his form and confirmed his next outing would be again in Abu Dhabi on December 9.
“He was runner up in the race last year after missing the break, so his win wasn’t a surprise,” said Lemartinel of Saturday's win.
“Tonight he raced behind the leading horse and got a good run on the home stretch to win well. Obviously his next race will be the National Day Cup (on December 9).”
Doleuze, a French jockey who has been riding in Hong Kong for the last 15 years in freelancing in his first season in the UAE, made his mark on the very first ride in the Emirates.
“Eric asked me to ride his horse and I couldn’t have wished for a better result,” he said.
“I don’t know much about the horse but when I went to the start he was nice and relaxed. He was able to follow the lead horse (AF Al Sajanjle ridden by Tadhg O’Shea) and good enough to win.
“It is good for me to come and try different things. It isn’t a benefit to sit in the same place for a long time. So it was good to come meet other people and to win is really good.”
It was a good night for Lemartinel as he also enjoyed victory in the opening race as Ellal, ridden by Pat Cosgrave, prevailed.
“It was the first time I sat on him and Eric gave me the confidence and said to me he is a nice horse,” he said.
“He’s a big horse, he needs space and I had challenge from wide. He travelled well and it was a nice education run for him as well. He looks a smart horse with a lot of potential.”
Ernst Oertel and Tadhg O’Shea, the trainer-jockey partnership, also racked up a double with AF Waqas in AF Yatroq, both in the silks of Khalid Khalifa Al Naboodah.
O’Shea added a third when he rode the Satish Seemar-trained Parliamentarian to a dead-heat with Ben Curtis on board Jamesian trained by Musabah Al Muhairi.