THE START OF A hectic period, four meetings and 28 races last weekend kicked off with a bumper nine race card at Meydan. Plenty of opportunities but only three trainers and four jockeys hit the target. Bhupat Seemar saddled five winners with Charlie Appleby and Musabbeh Al Mheiri both celebrating doubles.

A Tadhg O’Shea treble was outscored by no less than four winners for Antonio Fresu. William Buick and Richard Mullen were the other successful jockeys. Saturday at Al Ain was mostly about apprentice Sean Kirrane whose treble included the feature for Khalifa Al Neyadi who saddled two of the jockey’s winners, all three of which were ‘spare rides’ originally intended for the unfortunate Saif Al Balushi.

Al Balushi was in action at Sharjah on Saturday, riding a winner for Al Neyadi with Fresu again taking the riding honours with a double as he attempts to maintain some pressure on O’Shea. O’Shea rarely leaves Abu Dhabi empty handed and Monday was no exception, combining with Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda and Ernst Oertel for a double.

Seemar was also on the scoresheet in the only Thoroughbred race. A further four meetings this week and 27 races, 13 for the Thoroughbreds, one less opportunity than afforded to the Purebred Arabians.