Shadwell UAE Season Preview - Week 6

Posted on: 26th Nov 2019

Mudaarab: struck in Abu Dhabi for for the in-form trainer Erwan Charpy

HH Sheikh Hamdan enjoyed another good weekend; celebrating a winner at Abu Dhabi when the lightly-raced Mudaarab won the Martyrs Cup Handicap for in-form trainer Erwan Charpy. The five-year-old was partnered by Jim Crowley who also guided Sheikh Rashid Bin Hamdan’s Bel’lizam to second in the Group 1 Jewel Crown for Purebred Arabians.

With Crowley now back in the UK, Dane O’Neill has the first choice of rides at Jebel Ali on Friday, which is the only meeting in the UAE on a weekend of National Day holidays.

Sheikh Hamdan has runners in four of the seven races, including the seven furlong handicap, race two, in which three line up for the team.

Ali Al Rayhi’s Etisalat was slightly disappointing last time at Meydan, when favourite for a mile handicap. Having his fourth Jebel Ali start here, he might appreciate this drop back in distance and he has drawn well in three. Stablemate Mashaheer is the pick of O’Neill and ran on well when fifth to Zainhom here two weeks’ ago. Only beaten two and a half lengths then, this drop in trip is nevertheless a concern, as is a wide draw in 15.

Watson’s Fawaareq has his first run at Jebel Ali and reappears for the first time since February. Well-held on all four local starts, he has been given an 8lb reprieve by the handicapper and should show the customary improvement for having been in the UAE over the summer. He will be partnered by Adam McLean from post four.

Five run for Shadwell in the featured six furlong handicap, race four, including Moqarrab who make a speedy return to action after finishing fifth at Meydan last week. Sixth on his only start at Jebel Ali, the son of Speightstown is capable of finishing in frame and the application of a visor – used successfully by Al Mheiri several times this season – is noteworthy. 

Al Mheiri also runs Shajjy, who is capable of winning this on his best form, but who remains a little quirky. Fourth last time over course and distance, he is yet to win from 13 starts in the UAE and may find a few too strong again here, from a tough draw in 16.

Taamol, the mount of O’Neill, is a little more straightforward than Shajjy, and was a good second here on his only start this season, over this trip, from a wide draw in 11. Up 3lbs for that defeat, he should go well again here but is again drawn badly, in 13. Nevertheless, he is a leading contender in a strong race.

Alfolk was five places behind Taamol last time and remains on the same mark of 90. A smart performer when trained in South Africa, he is yet to recapture that form in the UAE.

Down at the bottom of the weights, with just 53kilos, is Kawasir, who is better than he showed at Abu Dhabi last time. Al Mheiri’s charge heads to Jebel Ali for the first time in an attempt to build on his debut success in the Emirates, when he scored at Meydan 12 months ago.  Sandro Paiva rides from stall 10.

There are two races worth 105,000 dirhams, the second of which is a mile handicap featuring three Shadwell runners; race six. Eshtiraak tries dirt for the first time, having not been disgraced on his debut for Watson at Abu Dhabi last time. That run should have brought him on, and it will be interesting to see how he handles the Jebel Ali hill.

The same comments apply to Charpy’s Moqarrar, who runs at Jebel Ali for just a second time. Second on his reappearance at Meydan, he was only fourth in a good race at Sharjah last time, but his trainer has a reason for that, saying: “he was trying to give a lot of weight to his rivals and, when you consider that, it was a good run. He seems to be better when we space his races so that’s why he’s had three weeks’ off since.”

O’Neill has chosen to ride Zainhom, who looked revitalized thanks to the application of a visor last time, and Al Mheiri’s chestnut takes a step up in grade due to that win. Nevertheless, it was achieved in good style and he is capable of defying a four pound rise here.

The concluding nine furlong handicap sees Althaaqib line up for Doug Watson.  Seventh, after showing good early speed last time, he drops slightly in trip and races off a 3lb lower mark for this assignment. O’Neill rides from stall eight of 11. 

Laura King

Tags: shadwell; sheikhhamdan; jebeilali; lauraking,

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