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 Trainer Michael Halford speaks to Jockey Tadhg O'Shea. Damien Eagers / SPORTSFILE

Trainer Michael Halford speaks to Jockey Tadhg O'Shea. Damien Eagers / SPORTSFILE

Trainer Michael Halford speaks to Jockey Tadhg O'Shea. Damien Eagers / SPORTSFILE

OERTEL and O'Shea are taking Arab world by storm

FORMER champion Irish apprentice Tadhg O'Shea has firmly cemented himself as part of the racing scene in Dubai and is looking forward to his association with trainer Ernst Oertel paying further dividends at the showpiece World Cup meeting this weekend.

South African Oertel and Cork man O'Shea have raised the bar in the UAE by repeating their 2013 trainer and jockey titles, with increased margins in what was nothing short of a stellar season for the pair.

The much-travelled Oertel and his Irish counterpart dominated in the Arabian racing side of their operation, while Oertel's Al Asayl team significantly boosted the number of thoroughbred victories he put on the board at Meydan and Jebel Ali.

With only the glittering World Cup night fixture to come, in which the Oertel/O'Shea combination have high hopes of a frame finish from their standard-bearer Capital Attraction, Johannesburg-born Oertel boasts an impressive 46-winner haul of the circuit comprising Meydan, Jebel Ali, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and the recently-opened Al Ain racecourses. Reflecting on his first year with four-time UAE champion jockey O'Shea as his right-hand man, Oertel said: "I've managed to improve some of the horses that came to me from the UK – Capital Attraction and Ganas were my best thoroughbreds.

"I get a lot of satisfaction from improving horses that come to me that have been in training in the UK, like those four-year-olds that arrive for what is effectively a second career.

"When I heard that Tadhg was moving (from second jockey to Sheikh Hamdan) to ride for Jimmy Long, I regarded it as an opportunity to link up with the champion jockey in Dubai.

"I think Tadhg has proved that with his fourth jockeys' title in succession."

From his side of what is proving a lucrative fence, O'Shea put forward a glowing appraisal of Oertel, saying: "Until this season I had never ridden a horse for Ernst. When we teamed up we hit the ground running and haven't looked back, growing better as a team. We have some lovely young horses, and having won the championship by a single winner last year that gap has increased to 11 in 2014, proof positive that we have upped our game."


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