Dubai World Cup Carnival - Super Saturday Shadwell Preview

Posted on: 2nd Mar 2017

MUARRAB will aim to defend his title in the Gr.3 Mahab Al Shimaal on Super Saturday at Meydan under Jim Crowley.

After a successful weekend which saw HH Sheikh Hamdan celebrate another Purebred Arabian Group 1 winner, Handassa, in Maktoum Challenge Round 3, plenty of stars converge on Meydan this weekend for Super Saturday – prep meeting for the Dubai World Cup fixture.

With no Arabian race on the card, seven Thoroughbreds take their chance on Saturday for Shadwell, beginning with Al Barez in the Listed Al Bastakiya, race one. Trained by Ahmad bin Harmash, he has struggled in two starts since winning a Jebel Ali maiden and wears a visor for the first time here.

There is a new name on the licence at Oasis I Stables, from where Maria Ritchie saddles her first Group runner when Muarrab defends his title in the Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal. A narrow second on both starts this season, he will once again face Cool Cowboy and Reynaldothewizard, but is in reportedly good form at home and is sure to figure if able to overcome a wide draw in nine. Raafid, trained by Ali Al Rayhi, also lines up in the six furlong contest, the first time he has run over a distance this short. He is the mount of Dane O’Neill.

The card’s other Group 3 is the Burj Nahaar, prep for the Godolphin Mile, where Nathr lines up for Doug Watson. A good second last time behind the re-opposing Heavy Metal, the six-year-old is another to have been unlucky with the draw, having to go from stall 11.

The team run two in the new Nad Al Sheba Turf Sprint, with Fityaan the mount of Jim Crowley and O’Neill on Ghaamer. The former, who was a winner on the card last year, has been in good form this season without managing to win, while Ghaamer has plenty of pace and is worth his chance in a very open race. Both are yet to score over this distance.

The final Shadwell runner on Saturday is Mike De Kock’s Ertijaal (AUS) who returns after a short break; having run fifth in the Listed Singspiel Stakes in January. A Group 1 winner in South Africa, he is yet to really show his best around Meydan, but should not be discounted in a tricky race.

The Shadwell team are once again on sponsorship duty at Jebel Ali on Friday, where seven carry the blue and white silks. Almohtaseb heads the weights in the opening seven furlong maiden and returns to arguably his best trip. Ridden by Crowley, he will break from stall five and has place credentials at least.

Shaishee has been keeping good company of late and the Group 3 winner has a good chance in the second race, also over seven furlongs. He is the pick of Crowley over Mushaakis, who drops down in grade after running well in two Listed races and both look to have leading credentials here.

Three go in the featured Shadwell Farm-sponsored nine furlong Conditions race, with Munaaser looking the pick. Al Rayhi’s charge ran well for a long way in the Listed Jebel Ali Stakes last time and looks well-treated on the best of his form. He faces a pair of Ritchie-trained runners, Nolohay and Muzdawaj. The latter, a recent recruit from the UK, faces dirt and Jebel Ali for the first time, but is the choice of O’Neill ahead of 2015 Carnival winner Nolohay, who will instead be ridden by Fernando Jara.

Al Whaad makes her debut in the card’s only maiden, over six furlongs. Another trained by Bin Harmash, the Pioneerof The Nile three-year-old has a light weight of 53.5kg so will be ridden by Paulo Sirigu.

Abu Dhabi hosts a strong, mostly-Arabian card on Sunday, where UAE debutant Al Zahir goes in the Group 3 Triple Crown Round 3. Now with Ali Al Rayhi after winning one of his four starts in France, it will be interesting to see how he copes with conditions in the Capital, where he is the highest-rated of the nine runners.

The card’s only Thoroughbred race sees Jawhar bid to overcome a long losing run in the closing mile handicap. A winner over course and distance back in 2014, he has every chance if still the force of old. 

By Laura King

Tags: super saturday; meydan; jebel ali; abu dhabi; shadwell; ertijaal; muarrab; handassa,

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