Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi’s leading trainer Ernst Oertel’s pair of runners in tonight’s UAE Arabian Derby face a tough challenge from a pair of fancied Omani raiders.
Oertel, who has tasted solid success for the Sweihan-based Al Asayl Stables, unveils UAE debutant Skoop along with Najm Alemarat.
Skoop, after winning his only start in France, will be unmder Tadhg O’Shea in tonight’s Dh 150,000 Prestige race over 2,200 metres.
Commenting on the 4-year-old Njewman son that made its winning debut in May last year, O’Shea said “He is a lovely big horse who is going very well at home. Obviously he lacks the experience of some of these, including stable companion Najm Alemarat who is also a nice horse, and has been off since May but he certainly has bags of potential.”
Leading the challenge to Oertel’s runners are the Oman-based Pilepoile and Vazs Mane Son. Pilepoile is also a 4-year-old son of Dormane and finmished half a length in front of Vazs Mane Son, a 4-year-old son of Dormane. That win sees Pilepoile start tonights race with a rating of 100 while Vazs Mane Son will be looking to reverse that result with Adrie de Vries in the saddle.
Unlike Skoop’s only run, both Omani raiders come here with three wins each from their respective five starts and the three are expected to be the main contenders for tonight’s feature.
Wald Johnny under Godolphin jockey Silvestre De Sousa, winner of his only start, represents trainer Ibrahim Al Hadhrami.
“He is a nice young horse and I was impressed when he won first time,” De Sousa said. “That was a fortnight ago and should have improved a lot for that experience over a trip that was on the short side for him. The extra distance should be very much in his favour and the yard are in form. Obviously it is a better race but he should go very well.”
While the UAE Arabian Derby wears an open look the Abu Dhabi Fillies’ Classic, a Dh 100,000 Prestige race for four-year-old fillies, has a strong favourite in Shayel Aldhabi. The 4-year-old Bibi DE Carrere filly is unbeaten in all three starts in the UAE and is a strong chance for Oertel and jockey O’Shea.
Race one: 1.Hab Nessnas; 2. Najem S’Heel
Race two: 1. Richlore; 2. Djoulla
Race three: 1. Shayel Aldhabi; 2. Latifa Princess
Race four: 1. Pilepoile; 2. Skoop
Race five: 1. AF Aamaq; 2. Udine du Pouy
Race six: 1. Musaafer; 2. El Wasmi