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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

RB Burn leads Al Asayl Stables charge at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club

Stable companions Darius Du Paon and Hamza also on the eight-strong card in the UAE capital.

RB Burn, ridden by jockey Gerald Avranche, is in action at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Sunday. Erika Rasmussen for The National
RB Burn, ridden by jockey Gerald Avranche, is in action at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Sunday. Erika Rasmussen for The National

RB Burn returns to the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club on Sunday night for the first time since he lost the €1.2 million (Dh5.24m) Group 1 Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown in the steward’s room.

The Eric Lemartinel-trained runner was first past the winning post three weeks ago, but the results were reversed and Muraaqib was declared the winner after an objection from Jim Crowley, the runner-up jockey who successfully claimed he had been bumped off his racing line by RB Burn jockey Gerald Avranche.

RB Burn will not have Muraaqib to face again when he competes in the Group 3 Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup, but seven others including stable companions Darius Du Paon and Hamza.

“He is a very good horse who has a touch of class and relishes Sunday’s conditions,” said Gerald Avranche, who has ridden the five year old in all his five local starts. “Hopefully he is the one the others have to beat.”

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Tadhg O’Shea is booked on Darius Du Paon, and the Irishman is confident the winner will be one of the three entries the Al Asayl Stables.

“They seem to have a strong hand with RB Burn looking the most likely winner but all three are working nicely,” he said.

RB Burn has won twice and never been out of the top two in his other three starts since arriving from a campaign in France last year.

The six-race card also sees the Listed National Day Cup for the thoroughbreds which has drawn the maximum 16 runners.

Gopi Selvaratnam is double handed with Haalick and Forjatt, winner of the race in 2015 and fifth last year.

Haalick was a close fifth over the course and distance in his first local start, and is expected to come from that run behind the Doug Watson-trained Shamaal Nibras.

Watson has three entered, with Zarawaan and Basateen both in the silks of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid.

“They are three nice horses and Shamaal Nibraas has the advantage of a run, which he won, already this season,” said Watson, the UAE champion trainer.

“He could be better drawn though and it is the same with Zarwaan, a horse we have always really liked but Basateen, another nice type, is better berthed in stall five.”