Shadwell UAE preview week commencing 12/12/16

Posted on: 14th Dec 2016

Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen winner MUARRAB will aim to repeat his victory again this year in the Listed Gharoud sprint at Meydan on Thursday evening.


The first big week of the UAE season is upon us, and Meydan stages three Listed races on a strong card on Thursday evening. Something of a ‘Carnival trials,’ meeting, HH Sheikh Hamdan will be well represented with a team of 11 declared.

Shadwell fans will also notice that the first race on the card is named after one of the greats of the Arabian stallion roster, and 12 go to post in the inaugural running of the Madjani Stakes, over 1900metres.

They include a son of Madjani, Bon Baiser Du Faust, who steps up in trip after finishing down the field in the Group 2 Bani Yas last time. He is the mount of Sam Hitchcott, with Dane O’Neill opting to partner Doug Watson’s Sauternes Al Maury instead. An effortless winner at Al Ain last time out, he races for just the fourth time here, but remains exciting and it is notable that O’Neill is down to near his minimum riding weight in order to be on board.

Two represent Sheikh Hamdan in the two-year-old maiden, over 1400metres. O’Neill rides Sabegg, another juvenile from the Ahmad  Bin Harmash stable, which has done werll with youngsters so far this campaign. A well-bred son of the Darley stallion Girolamo, he makes his debut here as, effectively, does stablemate Al Zeem, who refused to race last time. Both have chances in an open race.

The 1600metre handicap sees Moosir line up from stall seven for Watson. A good winner back in March over this track and trip, he should be fitter for his seasonal debut and should not be dismissed lightly by pick six players.

Watson is also represented in the first of the pattern races, the Listed Entisar Stakes over 2000metres, where Etijaah aims for his third win in a row, having succeeded over course and distance six weeks ago. A horse who goes well fresh, he has a huge chance of following up here, although O’Neill opts for Prince Of All, for the Ali Al Rayhi camp. A smart, Listed-winning three-year-old in Ireland for owner Jaber Abdullah, he has since joined Sheikh Hamdan and makes his UAE and dirt debut here.

A strong squad of three carry the blue and while in the Listed Garhoud Sprint, over 1200metres. They include defending champion and Group I Dubai Golden Shaheen winner Muarrab, who is the headline act on the whole card. Ridden by O’Neill, who is unbeaten in two races on the gelding, the race should be run to suit, with Ghaamer likely to set a strong pace on a rare run over this trip. Sheikh Hamdan’s trio is completed by the smart Shaishee, a Group 3 winner over course and distance, who also cannot be ruled out in an exciting race.

The final race, the Listed Dubai Creek Mile, is very open, but the Shadwell team have a huge chance of winning it with the smart Maftool, who makes his seasonal bow for Mussabeh Al Mheiri. Two from three over this track and trip, the son of Hard Spun will break from post one under O’Neill.

Onto Saturday’s meeting at Sharjah, where there is just one runner for Sheikh Hamdan. Two-year-old Al Abyad was well-held at Meydan on his debut, but faces an easier task here, receiving upwards of four kilos from his 13 rivals.

Abu Dhabi stages a good, mostly Arabian, card on Sunday, and recent recruit Al Monsef finds himself back in his own age group in the Colts Classic, over 1400metres. A game third against his elders last time out over a mile, he is once again a leading player here.

Three go in the card’s only Thoroughbred race, a 2400metre handicap, with Mustahdaf the choice of O’Neill. A good second last time over a trip slightly shorter than this, he has leading claims of collecting a first UAE win here. Erwan Charpy runs two for Sheikh Hamdan, with recent Al Ain maiden winner Tartoor the pick of stable jockey Antonio Fresu, while the quirky Shaakis makes a quick return after disappointing at Jebel Ali last week, with Marc Monaghan in the irons.

By Laura King



Tags: uae, shadwell, muarrab, racing, dubai, thoroughbred, arabian, meydan, sharjah,

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