Abu Dhabi: Al Asayl trainer Ernst Oertel is likely to extend his winning form tonight with two strong favourites in a card of six races.
In the Arabian Triple Crown (Group 2) over 11 furlongs, Oertel saddles Shayel Aldhabi, with Tadhg O’Shea again chosen to partner the impressive filly.
Shayel Aldhabi, winner of the Emirates Fillies’ Classic in her last start, is in hot form and will be gunning for her fifth consecutive win here. Before the Emirates Fillies Classic win, the four-year-old Bibi De Carrere filly had also won the Abu Dhabi Fillies Classic and the first leg of the Arabian Triple Crown.
Apart from stablemate Najm Alemarat, Shayel Aldhabi’s main challenge is expected from Pilepoile and Lammaa. The Oman raider will be looking to better his 10th-place finish in the UAE Arabian Derby while Majed Al Jahouri’s UAE debutant Lammaa starts as the highest-rated runner after his exploits in France before coming here.
“I have won three times on her over 1600m so this is a big step up in trip, but I think she will stay,” said O’Shea of Shayel Aldhabi’s chances. “We also have Najm Alemarat in the race and he is a good colt so it was a tough choice, especially as she is penalised, but it is hard to desert the filly after those three wins.”
Oertel and O’Shea, who left here with four and three wins respectively a fortnight ago, will again be strongly represented by Hebb Nessnas in the Emirates Colts Classic. The Jaber Bittar-trained Monawer and Wald Johnny under Royston Ffrench are the likely challengers in this prestige race over a mile.