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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

O'Shea and Lemartinel combination continues to make hay with more success in Abu Dhabi

Combination scores two wins, with jockey O'Shea triumphing in three races in total on the night

Al Tiryaq, ridden by Sam Hitchcott,  won the third race at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Sunday. Pawan Singh / The National
Al Tiryaq, ridden by Sam Hitchcott, won the third race at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Sunday. Pawan Singh / The National

Tadhg O’Shea and Eric Lemartinel rounded off a successful week, the jockey completing a treble and the trainer saddling a double at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Sunday.

The jockey-trainer combination kicked off the week by winning the Group 2 Baniyas, the only race for the Purebred Arabians, at Meydan on Thursday and returned with a double at Al Ain the following day.

They started off with a bang in the capital’s racecourse, taking the opener with Hawafez, and were back in the winner’s enclosure after Mawahib was successful in the fourth race.

“Eric had three nice fillies in the race and anyone of them could have won,” said O’Shea of the trio in the fourth race in which he chose Mawahib from RB Dixie Burning and Mahbooba, winner of six races including a Group 1 prize in 10 starts.

“I ride them in the mornings and that’s the one I liked. I won on her at Sharjah nearly three weeks ago.

“She was pulling hard in that race but she settled in well tonight and ran well towards the end.”

Jesus Rosales on RB Dixie Burning set the early pace before Gerald Avranche on Mahbooba and Antonio Fresu on Ernst Oertel’s AF Marrah took up the running on the home stretch.

However, they were both no match for Mawaheb’s finishing power as she flashed past the post two lengths clear of stable companion Mahbooba, with AF Marrah a further length down in third.

O’Shea sat behind the six runners and made his challenge on Mawaheb as they approached the final bend, coming wide around the horses.

The Irishman completed a treble when powering home Ibrahim Al Hadhrami’s BF Mughader in the Wathba Stallions Cup to take his tally to 15 winners for the season.

Patrick Cosgrave rounded off things by claiming the concluding race on Helal Al Alawi’s Ajaj to share the lead with O’Shea in the UAE jockey’s championship table.

Ajaj was the Emirati trainer’s 13th winner for the season, putting him four behind the UAE Champion trainer Doug Watson in the trainer’s championship.

In the opener, O’Shea had to really push hard on Hawafez in the 1,400m as they turned for home to go past John Egan atop AF Khaddaa.

He was denied of a second win half hour later when Connor Beasley brought Pathway To Honour from the midfield with a strong late run to clinch the prize for the thoroughbreds.

O’Shea had tried to lead all the way on Najm Suhail, and was three lengths clear of the chasing pack as they swept on to the home stretch, but ran out of gas in the last 50m to settle for second place.

“They went on a nice gallop and my horse showed a fine turn off foot in the final furlong to win pretty well at the end,” Beasley said.

Sam Hitchcott steered Al Tiryaq to an impressive win in the third race, the Dh100,000 Handicap and the most valuable prize of the night, from another Lemartinel runner Molahen El Alhan ridden by Jose Santiago.

“He won well last time when ridden by Dane O’Neill and he showed he could do it again over the longer 1,600m trip,” said Hitchcott.