Saturday 10 December 2016

Irish raiders can enjoy return to lucrative Dubai hunting ground

Published 21/01/2016 | 02:30

Halford's Eastern Rules has the benefit of a recent run, having run on gamely to be second to Ghaamer at the track on January 7 (Stock picture)
Halford's Eastern Rules has the benefit of a recent run, having run on gamely to be second to Ghaamer at the track on January 7 (Stock picture)

Elleval is one of three dual Meydan winners on duty for two Irish handlers in Dubai tonight.

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David Marnane's redoubtable six-year-old finished a gallant second on his return to the glamorous United Arab Emirates venue earlier in the month.

He drops in class now to contest a 10-furlong handicap under top-weight, and must have a chance with Pat Smullen up.

Granted, Elleval is a pound higher in the ratings this time, but he rarely runs a bad race here, having been placed on five occasions in all.

Mick Halford has also booked the excellent Irish champion jockey for Certerach in the 12-furlong handicap.

Successful in the same race off a mark 102 in 2014 before then plundering a two-mile Group Two, Certerach has failed to win in nine starts since then and may need the outing here.

Halford's Eastern Rules has the benefit of a recent run, having run on gamely to be second to Ghaamer at the track on January 7. He is another that has not won since recording back-to-back triumphs here in February 2014, latterly off a mark of 105.

Eastern Rules will line out in this evening's seven-furlong Group Two under James Doyle, with Ghaamer again in opposition under Dane O'Neill, who replaces Tadhg O'Shea.

On ratings, he may well be outclassed, but he was second to the re-opposing Safety Check in the same race last year.

The Godolphin horse is a justifiable favourite to collect again, but Eastern Rules is a live each-way option at double-figure odds.

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