Shadwell UAE Season Preview Week 1

Posted on: 24th Oct 2018

The UAE season gets underway at Jebel Ali this week

As has become traditional, the UAE racing season gets underway at Jebel Ali, with a seven-race card taking place on Friday.

HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum can look forward to a good season with his runners in the Emirates and he sends out eight this weekend.

The action begins for Shadwell in the third race, a mile handicap, in which Azmaam and Kidd Malibu both have light weights under which to begin their campaigns. Second retained rider Dane O’Neill returns to take the ride on Azmaam, who, like Kidd Malibu, is trained by Mussabeh Al Mheiri.  The Dark Angel entire is yet to win in seven starts in the UAE, but posted his best effort when third at Meydan in February. Rated 89 on turf, he goes here off his dirt mark of 73 and is very much respected on that basis.

View card here

Kidd Malibu, meanwhile, won at Jebel Ali on his local debut, for which he earned a rating of 81. Now down to 72, he ran well over six furlongs on his final run of last season but needs to prove he really sees out this trip up the hill.

The feature race, sponsored by Shadwell, is a seven furlong handicap in which Sheikh Hamdan runs two. Street Cry gelding Zainhom is the pick of Dane O’Neill and he looks a useful recruit to UAE racing. The four-year-old has been off since August 2017 but showed potential for Sir Michael Stoute, winning one of his six starts. Bred for the dirt, this is his first run since being gelded and he could cause a surprise in a strong race.

Zainhom is trained by Al Mheiri, as is former French trainee Shajjy, who runs against him. The four-year-old was well-held on his sole UAE start to date, on turf at Meydan, and tries dirt for the first time here for new stable jockey Ben Curtis.

The fifth race has another full line-up of 16, with Al Muheiri’s Mutawakked the sole Shadwell trainee. The Kodiac gelding has shown his best form on turf so far, including a second at Abu Dhabi, but can be forgiven a poor run up the hill  at Jebel Ali on his local debut. Now ten pounds lower than he was then, he can’t be ruled out in an open contest, although stall 15 might not be in his favour.

The penultimate six furlong handicap has a full field of 16, and a trio carry the famous blue and while silks. Nine-year-old stalwart Alraased looks to be the pick of the three, with O’Neill opting to partner him for Ali Rashid Al Rayhi. The consistent son of Exchange Rate notched his third local won on his final start of last season, winning by a length and three-quarters over course and distance. He’ll be fit for this reappearance, but must now deal with a 6lb higher mark.

Stablemate Raafid is yet to win in the UAE, but showed he is capable a few times last season, notably when third, beaten only a head, here over five furlongs in December. Now 15lbs lower than when arriving from France, his turn surely isn’t far away.

The third Shadwell representative is Al Mheiri’s Zaraee, who failed to make the frame on five local starts last season. He will be partnered by Curtis and may do better now fully acclimatized and dropped to a mark of 75.

Laura King 

Tags: uae; new season; jebel ali;,

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