Shadwell UAE Season Preview w/c 28th November

Posted on: 30th Nov 2016

AL BAREZ impressively stormed to victory on his debut under Dane O'Neill.

Friday saw another successful weekend for HH Sheikh Hamdan, whose colours were carried to victory twice at Jebel Ali.

First up came the victory of two-year-old debutant Al Barez, who beat his elders in the maiden, impressing jockey Dane O’Neill, who said: “I had to race slightly away from the other horses but when I asked him for an effort he really responded. He’s progressive.”

Dane later secured a double when Mushir landed his second win of the season, posting a gritty display in the 1200metre handicap.

This week there are three UAE meetings, with 20 Shadwell runners between them. It all starts at Meydan on Thursday where the Purebred Arabians return for the Group 2 Bani Yas, over 1400metres. The race has been moved from its previous spot in February, when it was won by AF Mathmoon, and Mussabeh Al Mheiri’s charge will defend his title under Fernando Jara, with Dane O’Neill suspended for two days this week. The five-year-old Kahayla Classic winner was not disgraced when fifth on his seasonal bow in the Group I Jewel Crown at Abu Dhabi and looks the one to beat here. The team also runs Bon Baiser De Faust, who takes a drop in grade and should have improved for a summer in the UAE.

Back to the Thoroughbreds, and Shadwell has a good chance of a winner in the two-year-old fillies’ maiden, when Bin Harmash’s Al Madam makes her second start, having been a solid third two weeks’ ago behind Mufeed. That was a good debut, and she should go close again over the same trip.

In the 1200metre maiden, Sheikh Hamdan introduces another Bin Harmash newcomer; Al Abyad, who takes on his elders, something which the trainer did successfully with Al Barez on Friday. The Awesome Of Course colt receives six kilos from his elders and should not be dismissed.

There is more form to go on in the first of two 1400metre handicaps, where Ribaat and Jally aim for their first UAE win, while, at the other end of the spectrum, nine-year-old Tamaathul goes for his third, but a first since 2013.

In the following 1600metre handicap, Ehtedaam is an interesting contender for Ali Rashid Al Rayhi, who has only run him once so far, at this meeting in 2015 when he was tailed off. With four wins from ten starts for previous trainer Saeed bin Suroor, he can play a role if fit for this reappearance.

The 1400metre Longines Dolce Vita Handicap sees Alraased line up for his third start of the campaign. Just touched off over 1600metres here before winning at Sharjah, he has a good chance of adding to his haul, with in-form apprentice Saeed Al Mazrooei taking off two and a half kilos. Juvenile Don’t Lie Kitten, a winner on debut over course and distance, also runs, but will find this harder against her elders.

The concluding 2000metre handicap sees Nathr, Azmaam and Zamaam line up for Al Mheiri and Erwan Charpy. The former tries dirt for the first time, while Charpy’s charge should be fitter for his Abu Dhabi run last time, when he was too free in the early stages. The win can go to Doug Watson’s Nathr, a good second last time, who will appreciate this return to ten furlongs.

Onto Al Ain, which stages its second meeting of the season on Friday. An 1800metre Thoroughbred maiden is the destination for Tartoor, trained by Charpy. He will be ridden by Antonio Fresu, but needs to build on a fifth under similar conditions last time out.

Later on, the closing 1600metre Arabian handicap sees Ashraaf top the weights, although apprentice George Buckell takes one and a half kilos off. Yet to win in the UAE, he ran well when seventh last time but must overcome a tricky draw in 11.

Moving on to Abu Dhabi on Sunday, where the team run five, starting with AF Mathmoon’s half-brother AF Monsef in the 1600metres Arabian conditions race, under the returning Dane O’Neill. The winner of his only start, over 1400metres over this course on opening night, he looks to have a good chance of going close again, having been purchased by Sheikh Hamdan since that performance.

Three represent Shadwell in the Listed National Day Cup, for Thoroughbreds over 1600metres. O’Neill has opted to partner the talented Munaaser, who was second here in a Group 3 when last seen in March. He has a big chance, as does Mutasayyid, the mount of Sam Hitchcott for Watson. The trio is completed by Mundahesh, who would also have a chance on his best form, but must contend with stall 12.

The weekend’s runners are completed by El Salaam, who runs in the 1600metre Arabian handicap, last on the card. A good third last time out at Al Ain, he returns to turf here in what looks an open contest on paper.

By Laura King




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