Lemartinel quartet hogs the limelight
Dubai - Earlier the Al Wataniya Cup Maiden (2000m) provided the perfect opportunity for the ten-year-old, Namoos Al Reef, to make it third time lucky in a truncated career.
Al Ain Racecourse's feature race at the penultimate meeting of the track's season on Thursday evening was dominated by Al Asayl Stables-based trainer Eric Lemartinel.
The Frenchman saddled five runners owned by the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for the Al Muwaiji Handicap (1600m) sponsored By Shadwell and welcomed back the first four home in the Dh800,00 contest.
Bashayer, ridden by apprentice George Buckell, won easily, chased home by Estourah and RB Rich Abratude with Al Jazi running on late to snatch fourth close home.
Tadhg O'Shea, the season's leading jockey, was out of luck in the headline race but was in the winner's enclosure just 30 minutes later after Firdos tuned the Remah Maiden (1400m) into a procession for Shaikh Khalifa and Lemartinel.The four-year-old made all, crossing the line with more than 11 lengths in hand of runner-up Samha Al Reef.
The Dhruba Selvaratnam-trained Secret Sentinel, making a dirt debut, opened his career tally with victory in the Al Markhaniya Handicap (1400m) following two well beaten turf outings at Abu Dhabi.
Earlier the Al Wataniya Cup Maiden (2000m) provided the perfect opportunity for the ten-year-old, Namoos Al Reef, to make it third time lucky in a truncated career.
The locally-bred entire first raced in February 2012 then was not seen again until February of this year when fourth at Sharjah. His third career run produced a first winner of the season for both trainer, Omar Daraj and apprentice jockey, Ismail Koyuncu. The only Thoroughbred contest was the Al Khaznah Handicap (1400m) which produced a rapid fire double from the Musabah Al Muhairi-trained Tagseed, a winner at Sharjah last Saturday.
The ten-year-old's three previous UAE wins had been over 1200 metres at Sharjah but his three victories when trained in England by William Haggas were posted at 1400 metres.
The meeting opened with the Wathba Stud Farm Cup Handicap (2000m) won comfortably by Major handing trainer Tony Manuel his second winner of the season from his new base at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club.