Shadwell UAE Preview Week 3

Posted on: 8th Nov 2016

TAMARKUZ wins the G1 Breeders Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita. Picture copyright of Steven Cargill

Later on, returning retained jockey Dane O’Neill got off the mark for the new season when Etijaah won the 2000metre handicap for the second year in a row, impressing trainer Doug Watson, who said: “We thought we had him as straight as we could for this first run back. We will look for something for him in December and hopefully he will be able to get a run in the Dubai World Cup Carnival next year.” 

The third leg of the treble was also the repeat of a 2015 win, when Musabbeh Al Mheiri’s Ajraam won the 1200metre handicap for the second year in a row, this time in the hands of Fernando Jara. 

Things got even better for Shadwell when Tamarkuz (pictured), formerly trained in the UK and the UAE, embodied the operation’s global outlook with a first Grade I win in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita. Trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and ridden by Mike Smith, the son of Speightstown now retires to Shadwell Farm in the USA where he is sure to prove popular with breeders.  

Returning to the UAE scene, and this week sees racing at Jebel Ali and Abu Dhabi. The latter hosts the world’s richest Arabian race, the Group I Jewel Crown, which sees the return of Sheikh Hamdan’s exciting AF Mathmoon, winner of the Group I Dubai Kahayla Classic when last seen. Al Mheiri’s colt will be ridden again by O’Neill, and has to have a huge chance, being unbeaten in four starts around the track. French raider Al Mourtajez, officially the best Arabian in the world, will be hard to topple, however. 

The team run 3 in Abu Dhabi’s only Thoroughbred race, with Azmaam the pick of O’Neill over Zamaam and Mundahesh. Trained by Al Mheiri, Azmaam makes his UAE debut, having been with Richard Hannon in the UK where he was a maiden winner at Chester before acquitting himself well in some competitive handicaps. That leaves Antonio Fresu onboard the useful Zamaam, for Erwan Charpy, while Mundahesh will be handled by apprentice Saeed Al Mazrooei.
A select team of five carry the blue and white silks at Jebel Ali on Friday, beginning with Ali Rashid Al Rayhi’s Qannaas who was second there last time. Partnered by Tadhg O’Shea once more, he should again run well off bottom weight.

In the featured Shadwell-sponsored 1400metre Conditions race, O’Neill has opted for course specialist Kanaf over Mashaaref, which is likely to have been a tough choice. Kanaf is a five-time course and distance winner and should be in the frame, while Mashaaref, who will be partnered by apprentice George Buckell, has won four times over the track. Both come from the in-form Al Mheiri yard.

Two go for Sheikh Hamdan in the penultimate 1800metre handicap, including the Doug Watson-trained Insaany, who returns after a 600-day break under jockey Sam Hitchcott. A winner here when last seen, he is talented but may just need this run. O’Neill therefore rides Almotaseb, also for Watson, who was a good second when last seen and steps up in trip here.


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