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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Richard Mullen aims to make hay at Meydan Racecourse on absent rival jockey Tadhg O’Shea

Reigning UAE champion jockey is six behind O’Shea, who has no rides on Thursday, and has six rides in seven-race card at Meydan’s final meeting before grand finale Dubai World Cup on March 31

Richard Mullen's first ride in the card is in the second race for his retained Zabeel Stables trainer Satish Seemar’s Ejbaar. Pawan Singh / The National
Richard Mullen's first ride in the card is in the second race for his retained Zabeel Stables trainer Satish Seemar’s Ejbaar. Pawan Singh / The National

Richard Mullen can take advantage of Tadhg O’Shea's absence to close the gap between the two riders in the UAE Jockeys Championship at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday.

The reigning UAE champion jockey is six behind O’Shea, who has no rides on Thursday, and has six rides in the seven-race card at Meydan’s final meeting before the grand finale Dubai World Cup on March 31.

Mullen’s first ride in the card is in the second race for his retained Zabeel Stables trainer Satish Seemar’s Ejbaar.

The gelded son of Oasis Dream is a winner already at Jebel Ali in his second start for the season on December 1, and was runner up twice and unplaced twice in the next four starts, all on the turf, at Meydan.

He returns to the dirt at Meydan and one that the connections would be hopeful to run well but the one to watch in this race is the UAE champion trainer Doug Watson’s Almanaara in the silks of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid and ridden by the owner’s retained jockey Jim Crowley.

Mullen is atop Ismail Mohammed’s Dirilis Ertugrul in a race for Maidens 35 minutes later.

The three-year-old colt by Overanalyze has improved with every run in his three career starts and expected to progress farther. Mullen’s remaining four rides are on Seemar’s Welford, Mazeed, Dawwas and Heraldic.

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Seemar has 14 entered across six races and trainer Doug Watson, who leads the UAE trainer’s championship with 43 winners, seven more than his nearest challenger Eric Lemartinel, who has 18 runners across seven races on Thursday night.

Watson can add to that total with three more meetings in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi and Jebel Ali after Thursday night’s final meeting at Meydan before the Dubai World Cup.

Almanaara, Street Of Dreams and Hawker, with the Red Stables’ retained jockey Pat Dobbs aboard, seems Watson’s best chances at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday.

Watson will be hoping for Almanaara to bounce back.

He is already a winner from his four local starts.

He was not beaten too far in his two most recent runs and is back after a four-week break.

Street Of Dreams won two of his last three starts and looks in good form to put another one across the board while Hawker too will be strongly fancied to bounce back following his win and fourth in the last two starts.