• October 24, 2018
    Last updated less than one minute ago

dubai world cup

Al Rayhi hopes Ertijaal can discover winning form

Hamdan-owned sprinter makes third start in Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint on Saturday

Leslie Wilson Jr, Racing & Special Features Writer
19:52 March 24, 2018

Dubai: Trainer Ali Rashid Al Rayhi is hoping that Meydan specialist Ertijaal can bounce back to his best form and win the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint at the third time of asking.

The seven-year-old son of Oasis Dream, finished second behind Australian speedball Buffering in 2016 and third last year, beaten 1¼ lengths by French raider The Right Man.

Al Rayhi has succeeded in keeping his stable star fresh this season during which period he has raced three times, winning two of his starts including the Group 2 Meydan Sprint.

On his last start, in the Nad Al Sheba Sprint on Super Saturday, he finished second behind up-and-coming Godolphin sprinter, Blue Point.

However, Al Rayhi believes that should Ertijaal run a true race, he will have a big chance on March 31.

“He’s a genuine sprinter who loves the dirt track here at Meydan,” the Emirati handler said. “His record of seven times on it speaks for itself.

“He’s like any racehorse, who has good days and bad days. But he tries very hard.

“The Nad Al Sheba Sprint was a messy race and things did not go to plan. But we learnt a few things,” added Al Rayhi.

“He’s come out of the race well, he takes his races well, and has been training well. He’s fully fit and we’re looking forward to seeing him run a big race on Saturday.

“It’s a strong race, but a lot can happen in a sprint and we’re hoping that he breaks well and gets into a rhythm from which he can pounce at the finish.”

Ertijaal, who will be ridden by Jim Crowley for owner Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, is likely to face a maximum field in what looks the strongest race on the nine-event Dubai World Cup card.