Shadwell UAE Season Preview Week 4, 2017

Posted on: 22nd Nov 2017

There are three meetings in the UAE this weekend, with Meydan hosting its second fixture of the season on Thursday night.

The Shadwell team run eight, starting in the second race on the card, a 1200metre handicap, where Moosir takes his chance for Dane O’Neill and trainer Doug Watson. 11th last time over a mile, he has been dropped 3lbs by the handicapper and his early pace suggests that he will suit this sharp drop in trip. He is also well-drawn in one for his front-running style, and should not be overlooked in an open race.

Sheikh Hamdan runs two in the 1400metre handicap, race four, with Elronaq making a belated local debut, having been a non-runner two weeks ago. Previously with Charlie Hills in the UK, he brings some useful form to Watson’s yard, but will have to prove he can handle dirt. That will be no issue for Ajraam, who was third behind the exciting Almanaara here two weeks ago. He steps up a furlong this time, but is a winner over course and distance and he can make his presence felt again here.

The Longines Ladies Master Collection, a Rated Conditions event over a mile, looks fascinating on paper and Watson holds a very strong hand. His Etijaah is a four-time course winner and beat subsequent Grade I scorer Mubtaahij here in a Listed race back in February. His biggest wins have come over further than this, but he should still be feared as he goes very well fresh. However, Dane O’Neill has elected to partner Ali Rashid Al Rayhi’s Munaaser, who will attempt to improve on a good second here last time, when he narrowly failed to peg back Galvanise. He’s gone up 2lbs for that effort, but should still be able to give a good account in what looks a hot race for the time of year.

Race six, a mile handicap, sees Alraased take his chance, again for Al Rayhi. The eight-year-old ran nine times last season, including a win at Sharjah, and is likely to go from the front again here. He was second in a similar contest on his seasonal debut last year again can give another good account from stall eight.

The concluding 2000metre handicap has attracted two Shadwell runners and Jeeraan tops the weights for Watson. The seven-year-old hasn’t won for two years, but put in a solid effort when beaten two and a half lengths into fourth here two weeks ago. He lines up against Jaaref, who tries dirt for a third time, having been unplaced on it last season. He may be using this run to ready him for turf targets later on, although Group 1-winning jockey Oisin Murphy is an eye-catching booking.

Al Ain hosts the first of its ten meetings on Friday, and the team run two in the Thoroughbred maiden, both trained by Ahmad bin Harmash. Three-year-old filly Al Madam struggled at Jebel Ali in handicap company last time and should find this easier, while Al Whaad, also a three-year-old, ran well in two starts last season and steps up considerably in trip here.

On Saturday, Abu Dhabi’s third meeting sees four carry the famous blue and white silks, all in the competitive 2200metre Thoroughbred handicap. Erwan Charpy’s Nafaqa makes a belated return after a 610-day absence, but has the class to take a race of this nature, having been a Listed winner when trained in the UK. Charpy also runs Munshid, not at his best on two starts in the Emirates to date, but interesting on the form of his two wins in Ireland for trainer Kevin Prendergast.

O’Neill, however, prefers to partner Mustahdaf for trainer Maria Ritchie. The six-year-old son of Dynaformer has twice been second over course and distance, including in this race last year, and must have a leading chance of going one better here.

That allows this season’s leading jockey Pat Cosgrave to come in for the ride on Ostaad, who is a little quirky but very talented. He was at his best when winning over a mile at Meydan in February and a repeat of that effort would see him go close here, on what will be his first run in the Capital.

By Laura King

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

Latest News

Latest tweets