Tadhg O'Shea eyes four titles

Tadhg  OShea eyes four titles
Jockey Tadhg O'Shea

Dubai - Champion Irish jockey's sole focus is on the richest night in horse racing

By James Jose

Published: Thu 24 Mar 2016, 9:21 PM

Tadhg O'Shea just wrapped a fifth UAE Champion Jockey title in Abu Dhabi but celebrations have been put on hold for the moment.
The Irish jockey's sole focus is on the richest night in horse racing - the 21st renewal of the Dubai World Cup worth $30 million. O'Shea had lost out to Richard Mullen, who notched three winners more than the Irishmen as well a Silvestre De Sousa. But O'Shea was in scintillating form this season and racked up 45 winners, six more than nearest contender Patrick Dobbs, to clinch it for a fifth time.
"Yeah, I just want to keep going. I was looking to get the championship back this year. I lost out by three winners last year, so, it has been a very lucky place for me, my family. The top half has already been a fantastic season and it would be great to be talking to you, come Saturday night," Tadhg O'Shea said at the Meydan Racecourse on Wednesday morning.
And it will be a busy night with Tadhg O'Shea piloting four.
His day begins with the first race of the meeting, the Dubai Kahayla Classic Group 1 where he rides Ali Rashid Al Raihe's AF Lafeh. That will be followed by Race 2, the Godolphin Mile Group 2, where he partners Le Bernardin. O'Shea will be back again quickly for Race 3, which is the Dubai Gold Cup Group 2, the longest race of the night, over 16 furlongs, where he will ride former champion Certerach. His night comes to end with the Dubai Turf Group 1, where he will be onboard Ghaamer.
All are trained by Ali Rashid Al Raihe except Certerach.
And while O'Shea felt all had a chance, he reckoned Certerach may perhaps be his best ride. The eight-year-old, owned by Paul Rooney and trained by Michael Halford, is a former winner of the Dubai Gold Cup, having landed the spoils in 2014 under Jamie Spencer.
"Probably, my best ride on paper would be Certerach and obviously, I can tell you a bit more on Ghaamer when I see the stall. They all have every chance but we are under illusions that it will be very competitive," O'Shea said.
"His (Certerach) form probably had dipped in his first two runs when he came to Dubai, for whatever reason. But obviously, it is a very competitive race, as you would imagine, but he deserves to take his chance as a former winner of the race. He obviously is in the right race and he is guaranteed to stay, which is a plus.
"Certerach, I ran him second in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy in his last start. He rode on his main gallop last week and touchwood he is very well and is in great condition. So, he will just have a little stretch in the morning on the training track grass but fingers crossed, he's not getting any younger, but he is former winner of the race and he knows how to win," he added.
O'Shea also said that the Kahayla Classic could end up being AF Lafeh's farewell race. "He is an older boy, he has been there and done it and I think this is his fourth or fifth Kahayla Classic and he is not getting any younger and I think this is going to be his swansong. He is in good form but there are probably a few more realistic chances in the race but he will give a good account of himself," he said.
He was also impressed by Ghaamer. "He (Ghaamer) has been a revelation this season. He won the first night at the Carnival on the back of a 105. If you had said then he would be in the Dubai Turf, you probably wouldn't have said so. But, he has improved and gone from strength to strength throughout the season. So, he is a horse that likes to either dictate a race or specially go forward," said O'Shea.

More news from Horse racing