Al Raihe aims to extend lead

DUBAI - Ali Rashid Al Raihe is looking forward to extend his lead over trainers’ championship as the Grandstand’s boss saddles Rochdale in the silks of Shaikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in the feature race, a 2000m Conditions, at Meydan Racecourse on Friday evening. The full card is sponsored by Al Basti Equiworld and the first of the six races starts at 3pm.

By Hisham Al Gizouli

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Published: Sat 26 Nov 2011, 12:12 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 8:43 AM

Having registered a rare quartet a couple of weeks ago, Al Raihe has big hope to see his improving eight-year-old veteran son of Bertouni repeating its spectacular performance despite the tough opposition.

“The horse is a real favourite in the yard having won six races in the UAE and we know conditions suit him and he won this race last year having won at Meydan’s opening meeting as he did again this time. Obviously it is a good race but we have to be hopeful.”

Dr Faustus, who was well beaten by Rochdale on seasonal reappearance, will be partnered this time by leading trainer Tadhg O’Shea. And with 5.5kg off his back, the Saddlers’ Well gelding should not be overlooked.

Trainer Doug Watson said: “He would have come on a lot from that run and we were pleased enough with his return. These are probably his best conditions and he should go well.”

Kal Barg makes seasonal debut for the Jebel Ali-based trainer Dhruba Selvaratnam under James Doyle and should not be ruled out while Royaaty under Patrick Cosgrave is the best of the rest.

“Hopefully this is a horse who can have a good season. He ran some big races last time and now seems in good form at home and I am hoping he can be competitive in a good little race,” Cosgrave commented.

Purebred Arabian racing returns to Meydan and 11 have been declared for the 1400m handicap, which opens proceedings at 3pm.

Naseem Al Reef, trained by Eric Lemartinel, has won at Abu Dhabi already this season which proved his wellbeing. The same applies to GRP Mudhish, who will be having his first start on the All-Weather surface.

Ernst Oertel has made a great start to his first season training at Al Asayl and his Noor Einy should go close to providing the trainer with a first Meydan winner. Adrian Nicholls takes the mount.

Garbah returns to the track under Ahmed Ajtebi and could give Al Raihe his first winner of the evening in the 1400m TB Maiden.

UAE debutant Ana Emarati, ridden by Jamie Spencer, could probably celebrate the country’s National Day in the 1200m sprint, the third race on the card. Satwa Street, Gerald Avranche up, looks good to pose the only threat.

Canwinn, ridden by James Doyle, will be hard to beat in the 1600m fifth race and Mark To Market should do the better work in the 1600m final race.

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