Le­martinel, Oer­tel score dou­ble in sea­son-opener

Jockey O’Shea steals the thun­der with a tre­ble

Gulf News - - News - BY N.D. PRASHANT Staff Re­porter

The UAE cap­i­tal’s rac­ing sea­son kicked off with Eric Le­martinel-trained Dar­ius Du Paon, rid­den by Olivier Doleuze, win­ning the fea­ture event — Shaikh Zayed Bin Sul­tan Al Nahyan Na­tional Day Prep Race for the Pure­bred Ara­bi­ans — at the Abu Dhabi Eques­trian Club last night.

Doleuze, mak­ing his de­but in the UAE, stayed be­hind third placed AF Al Sa­jan­jle for most part of the race, be­fore surg­ing ahead to brush aside a late chal­lenge from sec­ond­placed Goshawke. A win by a good 1.25 lengths spoke vol­umes of Doleuze’s ex­per­tise.

“I’m ex­tremely happy with the win be­cause I don’t have any sta­bles. Eric asked me to ride his horse. I don’t know much about the horse but when I went to the start, he was re­laxed and fine. Dur­ing the race, he was able to fol­low the lad in the lead and good enough to win,” said a ju­bi­lant Doleuze, based in Hong Kong for the past 15 years.

Le­martinel thus com­pleted a dou­ble for His High­ness Pres­i­dent Shaikh Khal­ifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan for the evening. He had ear­lier won the open­ing race of the Abu Dhabi rac­ing sea­son: a 1,400m maiden race for three-yearold Pure­bred Ara­bi­ans, af­ter Pa­trick Cos­grave took El­lal to a con­vinc­ing win.

Also im­press­ing on the open­ing day was trainer Ernst Oer­tel and jockey Tadhg O’Shea, as they pair scored a dou­ble. O’Shea led Al Waqas to vic­tory in 1,400m Abu Dhabi Eques­trian Club Cup for Pri­vate Own­ers be­fore go­ing on to clinch the Al Raw­dah 2200m race on AF Ya­troq. O’Shea later com­pleted his tre­ble on Par­lia­men­tar­ian af­ter he won the 2,200m Cor­niche Hand­i­cap.

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