The ultra powerful Eric Lemartinel yard was in good form as always at Abu Dhabi on Sunday and the trainer saddled a 1-2 in the 2200m handicap on Sunday evening.

Gerald Avranche was victorious on top-weight Dahes who was able to hold off the late challenge from stable companion Mooser.

Avranche said: "That was getting a bit close late on but he has held on well. I was in front a bit sooner than ideal but he has responded well."

Lemartinel was back in the winner's enclosure after the following 2200m maiden and was again responsible for first and second. However, Avranche had to settle for second having tried to make all on Neferman, only to be denied close home by Chase Me under Tadhg O'Shea in a race they dominated.

It was the jockey's first winner of the season in the Capital and he said: "That was a fair performance from a young, inexperienced horse. He should be capable of building on that.
"It is nice to get off the mark here (Abu Dhabi) for the season."

O'Shea promptly doubled his Abu Dhabi tally for the campaign on the Gill Duffield-trained Al Mannsoub on whom he committed for home 800m out. His mount responded well and held on gamely from old rival Samira De Carrere behind whom they had finished on their previous start.

It was a winner for O'Shea's main patron His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and O'Shea was clearly delighted: "It's nice when a plan works and I was determined to try and kick away a long way out and use his stamina. Luckily it worked though the final 100m felt a long way!"

The only Thoroughbred race was the concluding 2400m handicap and apprentice Harry Bentley rode his first winner on the track on the Satish Seemar-trained Achill Bay. Bentley has made a good start to his UAE career and this was a third winner for the season.

He said: "I have had a really good start and am loving it here in Dubai. I can only thank Mr Seemar and everybody who has made it possible."

Racing opened with a 1600m maiden and the Tony Manuel-trained Etihad needed every one of those metres to open his account at the second time of asking. Jesus Rosales looked to have the race won on Barood Al Reef until Pat Cosgrave managed to drive Manuel's charge in front right on the line to register his first UAE victory.

The jockey said: "The horse was green coming out of the stalls but I was lucky to get a lead. He has knuckled down in the straight and battled all the way to the line."

Royston Ffrench has made a great start to the new campaign and Meshwar became a first winner for rookie trainer Adam Aghbash when winning the 1600m handicap. Never far off the pace, Ffrench took his mount to the front turning for home and the pair were clear 200m out and were always going to hold on from a fast closing pack.

Ffrench said: "I went for home as we were left in front and he responded well. I could hear them closing but was never really worried about being caught."