Shadwell UAE Race Report Week 4

Posted on: 16th Nov 2016

“Insaany suffered a setback before the start of last season, and, because he’s such a nice horse, we didn’t want to rush him back,” he said of the Shamardal five-year-old. “We had thought he might be a [Listed] Jebel Ali Stakes type of horse so it’s great to get him back here with a win.”

By contrast, this weekend is a busy one, with 18 horses declared for Sheikh Hamdan over four UAE meetings, including five at Meydan on Thursday.

In the opening two-year-old maiden, Al Madam carries the blue and white silks for trainer Ahmed bin Harmash, successful for Sheikh Hamdan in a similar contest a fortnight ago with Don’t Lie Kitten. The only filly in the field and making her first start, things will be tough but she does receive 2kg from her rivals.

Two run for the team in the 1600 metre handicap, with Moosir, winner of his last two, the pick of Dane O’Neill over Entifaadha. The former makes his first start of the season for Watson, off a 7lb higher mark, while Entifaadha is yet to win in the UAE but shaped better last time and is dropping down the handicap. Apprentice George Buckell takes over a further 1.5kgs.

Thursday’s feature is a 1600metre Conditions event, in which Kanaf makes a quick return after his fifth place effort at Jebel Ali on Friday. He is yet to win on dirt at Meydan, however, and this looks a good race with Classic winner Polar River in the line-up.

The team’s final Meydan runner is the Ali Rashid Al Rayhi-trained Watheeq, who makes his first start for a year in the closing 2000metre handicap. He was a convincing winner at Sharjah when last seen, however, and should not be ignored.

Sheikh Hamdan runs six at Al Ain’s opening meeting on Friday, with Erwan Charpy’s Tartoor leading the charge in the Thoroughbred maiden. Third over course and distance last term, he can go close if recreating that effort.

Three go in the 1600metre Arabian handicap, with the well-bred Saulternes Al Maury the choice of O’Neill. A winner here on debut, before finishing fifth next time, he must be respected, as must Marc Monaghan’s mount, Tatweer, and The Secret, who goes for Pat Dobbs. A four-time winner at Sharjah last season, he may find this test a little too sharp, however.

Ashraf, trained by Mussabeh Al Mheiri, and El Salaam, for Al Rahyi, go in the official feature, again over 1600m. With both being allocated light weights, Ashraf is partnered by George Buckell and El Salaam by Tadhg O’Shea, who will find his mount race-fit after a recent run at Abu Dhabi.

Onto Sharjah on Saturday, where Zafaan lines up in the 1700metre handicap, dropping down in trip after disappointing here last time. A more likely winner comes in the Thoroughbred event, a 1200metre handicap, where Alraased should be hard to beat, having been just touched off at Meydan last time. He’s the choice of O’Neill, over the reliable Tajheez, who can also make the frame.

Lastly, Abu Dhabi on Sunday features four Shadwell runners, all of whom clash in the 2200metre Thoroughbred Handicap. O’Neill has elected to ride Mustahdaf for Al Mheiri, who makes his seasonal debut. That leaves Fernando Jara with a nice ride on stable mate Alkmerzem, who was third last time over course and distance and can go well again, while Sam Hitchcott rides top weight Alkawn, with apprentice Saeed Al Mazrooei taking 2.5kg off Mundahesh

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