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Lemartinel, Alawi duos to clash in Al Ain feature
December 08, 2017
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Al Ain: Al Ain stages its second meeting of the campaign on Friday afternoon when the official feature is an 1800m handicap for which a select field of six is set to face the starter.

His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan owns two of the sextet, both trained at Al Asayl Stables by Eric Lemartinel with Tadhg O’Shea electing to partner Meydan Du Paon with stable companion, Ifraaj, the mount of Jesus Rosales.

In receipt of weight from his five rivals, Ifraaj has recorded both his career victories here at Al Ain, over 2000m, as well as finishing second in last season’s UAE Derby, over Friday’s course and distance.

He was, however, well beaten on his seasonal debut, two weeks ago, also over this track and trip when ridden by O’Shea whose choice, Meydan Du Paon, has a solitary victory to his name.

That was achieved on his second career start, over 1600m at Al Ain in January 2016, the last time O’Shea, who also rode him on his debut, has been in the saddle.

O’Shea, whose chosen mount finished ahead of Ifraaj last time, on what was his second start of the season, said: “It was a tough choice between the two but Ifraaj was a bit disappointing last time whereas Meydan Du Paon ran well so, on recent form, he won the verdict.

“I did actually win on him the last time I rode him so hopefully, he will remember that and follow up.”

Also doubly represented is Helal Al Alawi whose string could not be in better form and enters the busy UAE racing weekend with 12 winners so far this season, second only to Doug Watson.

All bar one have been partnered by Pat Cosgrave, himself leading the jockeys’ championship with 13 before racing at Meydan on Thursday and who rides the trainer’s RB Fired Up in this.

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