Al Asayl handler goes top of trainer’s table

Oertel sweeps treble in Abu Dhabi meeting after grabbing a double a fortnight ago

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Horse race in progress at the Abu Dhabi equestrian club yesterday
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Ernst Oertel’s good season got even better on Sunday night when the Al Asayl trainer saddled three winners and moved to the top of the trainer’s championship.

With Sunday’s treble, Oertel has 23 winners and is now one ahead of reigning champion Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

Oertel’s three winners came through Manisha in the second race, Maharani in the third and Richlore in the fourth — all three winners owned by the President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Oertel, who ended 2012 here with a double, also started the New Year with a double as Seraphin Du Paon won the President’s Cup Prep race and Shayel Aldhabi won Round One of the Arabian Triple Crown a fortnight ago.

“I am happy and all credit goes to the team working at the stables,” he said later.

“It has been another great evening in what has been a brilliant season so far.”

Royston Ffrench, who rode the first of Oertel’s winners, Manisha, said: “The yard had four runners in the race and mine was probably not their first string. We all know the yard is in amazing form and all their runners have a chance. She is a nice mare who has not had much racing.”

Adrian Nicholls, who won on Oertel’s Maharani said: “She was a course and distance winner last time so stamina was never a concern and she has clearly improved from that win and may well do so again.”

Richlore under, Sam Hitchcott, completed the treble for Oertel and the winning jockey said: “She has only had four starts and has now won two. She has needed every yard of this 1600m and can improve over further.”