Shadwell UAE Season Preview Week 17

Posted on: 20th Feb 2018

NATHR:a three time winner at Meydan aiming for a fourth victory in the hands of Jim Crowley

There are three meetings in the Emirates this weekend, including Meydan, which stages a fantastic Carnival card on Thursday.

There are two Group 2s on the programme, and HH Sheikh Hamdan’s Ertijaal will aim to win the G2 Meydan Sprint for the second year in a row.  The seven-year-old was a devastating winner over course and distance on the first night of the Carnival and is now better off at the weights with Hit The Bid, who finished half a length behind him. He will take a lot of beating this time, although it is a very strong race, with Godolphin’s Group 2 winner Blue Point likely to mount a serious challenge.

‘The team also run veteran Fityaan, who makes his first start since finishing second here over six furlongs a year ago. He will be ridden by Fernando Jara and has been drawn in one.

The other Group 2 on the card is the Zabeel Mile, also on turf, which sees Janoobi line-up for Mike De Kock. The South African Group 2 winner was an eye-catching second over a furlong shorter than this in the Al Fahidi Fort last time and will be suited by the return to this trip. He has a big chance from stall four and is likely to once again sit close to the pace.

This week’s domestic race is over seven furlongs on dirt, and Crowley rides Nathr, three times a winner at Meydan for trainer Doug Watson. He steps back in trip but has plenty of pace and also resumes off a four pound lower mark. Ali Al Rayhi runs Taqneen, who has lots of talent but has been off since chasing home Etijaah in the 2016 Al Ain Mile, a break of 703 days. He is the mount of apprentice Saeed Al Mazrooei with Tadhg O’Shea partnering his stablemate Tafaakhor, who tries the dirt for just the second time here.

There is also a Carnival handicap over 1400metres, and Group 3 winner Shaishee runs here; having his second start of the season for Maria Ritchie and jockey Jara.

The final race of seven is over a mile and a half on turf, and Basateen heads the weights for Crowley and Watson. The six-year-old ran well, finishing sixth, last time out but this looks a tough race, with Godolphin running five. Zamaam also takes his chance for Erwan Charpy, dropping in trip after running over two miles last week.

HE Mirza El Sayegh and several other Shadwell representatives will be at Jebel Ali as part of the sponsorship team on Friday. The course hosts one of its biggest days of the year, with the Listed Jebel Ali Sprint and Stakes sharing top billing.

The sprint, over five furlongs, looks fascinating, with Waady, the choice of Crowley, aiming to follow up his good third at Meydan last time. The Group 3 winner faces the dirt for the first time but might be suited by the uphill finish. Taneen, trained by Ritchie, also switches to this surface for the first time, but is likely to handle it, being by super sire Speightstown. Shadwell also run the exciting Farook, who is two from three at Jebel Ali and has a re-match here with High On Life, who beat him by two and a half lengths a month ago.

The 1950metre handicap, race one, looks open, and Mudaarab heads the weights for Erwan Charpy. The four-year-old son of Distorted Humor is bred for the dirt and tries it for the first time here; backing up quickly after a good fourth place at Abu Dhabi on Sunday. He is joined in the line-up by dual course winner Al Barez, who has his first attempt at this trip, and Jaaref, who has just his second run at Jebel Ali, and who ran very well at Meydan on Saturday.

Sharjah hosts its final meeting of the season on Saturday, and Sheikh Hamdan runs The Secret in the 2700metre Sharjah Marathon. The Madjani entire has won this race for the past two seasons and has a good chance again this time, having run well when fourth here in January. Sam Hitchcott takes the ride for Watson.

By Laura King

Tags: dubai, racing, uae, meydan, shadwell, ,

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