DRC Carnival week 1 - Shadwell preview

Posted on: 4th Jan 2017

Next up, race five, is the highly competitive Group I Maktoum Challenge Round I for Purebred Arabians, where there are four runners for Sheikh Hamdan, including AF Mathmoon and Manark (pictured), the last two winners of the Dubai Kahayla Classic. Manark, trained by Erwan Charpy, returns after an enforced absence, but was flawless when last seen here in the 2015 Mazrat Al Ruwayyah, over course and distance.

He is the highest-rated of the Shadwell quartet, but lacks a recent run, which shouldn’t be a problem for the other three, although AF Mathmoon was disappointing when well-beaten behind the re-opposing Shateh in the Group 2 Bani Yas. He was conceding weight on that occasion, however, and this is probably his best trip.

Doug Watson is responsible for both Sauternes Al Maury and Bon Baiser Du Faust, who fought out the Madjani Stakes here last time. Watson says that the winner, Bon Baiser Du Faust “surprised us,” on that occasion, and is confident that the lightly-raced Sauternes Al Maury will “improve with racing.”

The 1900metre dirt handicap is the destination for Jeeraan, although he was well-held over half a furlong further last time out. He will be fitter this time, however, and isn’t ignored from the Watson yard which is in superb form at present.

Onto the Listed Singspiel Stakes, over 1800metres, where Watson runs Basateen and Mike De Kock sends out Ertijaal (Aus). The former was a revelation when winning impressively over 2000metres last year, before finishing a respectable tenth - beaten just over six lengths - in the Group I Dubai Turf. He is joined in the race by Ertijaal, who has had surgery since his last run in Hong Kong. Reportedly pleasing his trainer since then, he has plenty of class and is exciting this Carnival.


Finally at Meydan, Zamaam goes for Erwan Charpy in the 2410metre Turf handicap. Yet to win in the UAE, the ex-French gelding makes his third start of the season here, but has conditions to suit him for the first time, although he needs a strong pace to be seen to best effect.

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