DRC Carnival week 5/ UAE racing - Shadwell preview

Posted on: 1st Feb 2017

Shadwell's first Gr.1 winner of 2016 MUARRAB makes his seasonal debut in the Gr.3 Al Shindagha Sprint

Mike De Kock’s Muwaary leads the charge in the second race, a mile turf handicap. The ex-South African colt was well-held over six furlongs last week, but this distance should suit him better. Stronger chances come later, however, including in the card’s two pattern races, the first of which is the Group 3 Al Shindagha Sprint over six furlongs. Retained jockey Jim Crowley rides Muarrab, who is sure to be a red hot favourite to beat his five rivals. Second in this race last year, Mussabeh Al Mheiri’s charge was only just beaten over course and distance in the Dubawi Stakes last time and looks much the best here. He’s joined in the race by stablemate Shaishee, the mount of Dane O’Neill, who has been in good heart so far this campaign but may find younger legs too strong for him here.


Zamaam has been kept busy by Erwan Charpy lately, and he makes his second start inside a week in the two mile turf handicap. Sixth over nine furlongs at Meydan on Saturday, he steps up markedly in trip here in a race in which Godolphin’s Red Galileo looks the one to beat.


Khusoosy and Munaaser, both trained by Ali Rashid Al Rayhi, clash in the ten furlong turf handicap. The former, winner of the Group 3 Abu Dhabi Championship last March, ran a good eighth, only beaten seven and a half lengths, on his return last week, and drops back in trip here under Crowley. He has a good chance on the pick of his form, while Munaaser, who will be ridden by O’Neill, has been a shade disappointing so far this season and reverts to turf here.


The final race at Meydan is a five furlong dash in which Al Mheiri runs two; Maljaa and Fityaan. The former, who used to be trained in the UK by Roger Varian, made an eye-catching local debut when sixth over track and trip a fortnight ago. He has a good draw in 11, while Fityaan will appreciate the drop back to the minimum trip but might find things tough from a low draw in four.


There are six races up the Jebel Ali hill on Friday, where Sheikh Hamdan runs seven, including Watheeq who goes in the opening nine furlong handicap, under jockey Chris Hayes. Something of a Sharjah specialist, Al Rayhi’s charge is yet to win in five attempts at this course. The same stable runs Qannaas in the mile handicap, with Crowley doing the steering. A game third over course and distance last time, he is one to consider in an open race.


Later on, just six line up in the featured mile handicap, worth AED100,000, including Ostaad and Mushaakis. Both are effective over this course, although Crowley’s pick Ostaad arguably prefers a slightly longer trip, while the versatile Mushaakis, the mount of O’Neill, steps back up to a mile after successes here last season over six furlongs and seven furlongs.


The seven furlong handicap, race five, sees three Shadwell runners, with Crowley choosing to ride local newcomer Kidd Malibu. A well-bred son of Malibu Moon, the four-year-old has joined Al Mheiri from Dermot Weld and it will be interesting to see how he fares on dirt, which he is very much bred for. He faces another recent new recruit to the UAE, Jaaref, who reverts to Jebel Ali after running a good third on turf last time out, and Almohtaseb, who often goes well at this course and who has conditions in his favour.


Four go for the team at Abu Dhabi on Sunday, headlined by Shadwell’s only Purebred Arabian runner of the weekend, AF Monsef who goes in the Listed Arabian Triple Crown Round I. Al Mheiri’s four-year-old, a brother to Group I winner AF Mathmoon, is two from three in his career, having landed the Colts’ Classic last time out. Ridden by Crowley for the first time this week, he faces a strong, five-strong, team from the powerful Al Asayl stable, but still holds leading claims.


The other three runners all go in the closing mile Thoroughbred handicap, with Crowley electing to partner Al Rayhi’s Alraased. The eight-year-old is having his seventh start of the season here, but went close at Al Ain last week and can do so again, with this course likely to suit his front-running tactics. Second choice, on jockey bookings, looks to be O’Neill’s ride Mundahesh, who will certainly appreciate this return to a shorter trip, having found a mile and a half too far last time. He does need to overcome a long losing streak, however. Lastly, Marc Monaghan rides Amaan for Erwan Charpy, another who shouldn’t be dismissed, with a return to turf likely to play to the strengths of this son of Nayef.

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