Ertijaal, one of the most popular horses in local training, is progressing exceptionally well for conditioner Ali Rashid Al Rayhi and is on target for a defence of the Group 2 Meydan Sprint on February 22nd.
The son of Oasis Dream exits a workmanlike victory in 1000m handicap company where he out-willed talented Group 3 winning 4-year-old Hit the Bid.
“He came out fine and has had two good works since,” said Gilani Siddiqui, assistant trainer. “We are just waiting for the (Meydan Sprint) and will work him again on Thursday morning on the turf (training track).
“I think he should improve in his next race,” Siddiqui continued. “He had a big break before the last race and I think he needed the run. (Hit the Bid) has already run and was in form and Ertijaal had come off a break, so it was harder for him to get out from that horse. I think he’ll be better this time. His works have been very good.”
Despite failing to put away his foes in the dominant fashion to which fans have become accustomed, Ertijaal equaled his career-best Racing Post Rating of 123 in his January 11th seasonal debut, while giving away significant weight to his foes.
A barn favorite because of his gentle nature, he appears primed to unleash some aggression on the competition when he lines up in the same race that saw him set the 1000m course record a year prior.
Ertijaal’s 118 international rating, earned in said event, made him the highest-rated UAE-based horse of 2017.