Shadwell UAE Season Preview - Week 4

Posted on: 12th Nov 2019

Waady: the former John Gosden inmate was a ready winner at Meydan last week

The Shadwell team enjoyed an excellent weekend here in the Emirates, with victories in feature races at Meydan and Abu Dhabi.

Retained rider Dane O’Neill was onboard Waady when he collected a first UAE success when taking the six furlong dirt sprint at Meydan for trainer Doug Watson, who remarkably won all six races on the card. Waady, a Group 3 winner when trained in the UK by John Gosden, held off the challenge of Pop The Hood and won by a length and a quarter, impressing his jockey.

“Waady had been working well and had a good summer,” said O’Neill. “Hopefully, now he’s got his head back in front, he can progress from this.”

24 hours’ later, Sheikh Hamdan’s silks landed in the winner’s enclosure at Abu Dhabi when local debutant Mukalal took the mile Rated Conditions event. Running for the first time for Erwan Charpy, having previously been trained by Marcus Tregoning, the five-year-old arrived from the back of the field under Tadhg O’Shea and beat another Shadwell runner, Azmaam, by three-quarters of a length.

Charpy is now considering the Listed National Day Cup for Mukalal, commenting: “We hope this is a really nice new horse for the yard, so for him to win like that is really pleasing.”

There are just two meetings in the UAE this weekend, with Al Ain opening its doors for the first time this season on Thursday.

Sheikh Hamdan’s weekend challenge starts off in the nine furlong Arabian Handicap, race three, when Charpy saddles Ainhoa Topchef. A good third when last seen here over course and distance in April 2018, the six-year-old is likely to need this run after so long off the track. He has a good draw in seven, and will be ridden by Jesus Rosales.

The team are well-represented with ten runners at Jebel Ali on Friday, where Shadwell Farm sponsors race four, a Conditions event for three and four-year-olds.

Tadbir makes a relatively quick return here, having been well-held in ninth when taking on older horses over course and distance last time. Consistent prior to that, he may be able to do better this time, as he will have a race fitness edge over most of his rivals and has drawn well in three.

The six furlong Al Shafar Investment Handicap, race two, looks open and Alraased, Kidd Malibu, and Mutawakked all represent Shadwell.

Ali Rashid Al Rayhi’s Alraased has been kept busy, and this will be his third run of the campaign. The ten-year-old was only ninth over course and distance two weeks’ ago, as he finds this trip a bit of a stretch these days. Musabbeh Al Mheiri runs two, including last time out winner Mutawakked, who went up 5lbs for his narrow seven furlong success here. Of a light weight of just 53kilos and with the assistance of Champion Jockey Tadhg O’Shea, he is again in contention if he doesn’t find this trip a little sharp.

Al Mheiri also runs Kidd Malibu, fourth behind Mutawakked last time, when drawn wide in 12. His best run last season came over this course and distance and he shouldn’t be far away this time, either.

There are two mile handicaps on the card and Watson’s Bawaasil contests the 70-84 version. A good fifth, only beaten two and a half lengths, in a hot race at Abu Dhabi last time, he has just his second try at Jebel Ali, having been fourth here on UAE debut in March. Now down to a mark of 83, he is one of the least-exposed and has every chance of making an impact. He is the choice of O’Neill over Zainhom, Juthoor and Mashaheer. The former was a little disappointing here a fortnight ago, when missing the break over seven furlongs. The extra distance will suit him this time, however, and this is also a drop in grade for Al Mheiri’s five-year-old.

Juthoor has just his second run on dirt and first at Jebel Ali. Well-beaten on his last two starts, he looks well-treated on his dirt mark of 75, compared to 82 on turf, and it will be interesting to see how he fares here. He comes out of the same Abu Dhabi race as Mashaheer, who finished sixth. Well-held on his two tries at Jebel Ali, the four-year-old has something to prove on this surface.

Mujeeb, whose two best local runs were over this course and distance, has top weight in the second of the mile handicaps, race six. A good seventh at Abu Dhabi last time when beaten only three lengths, he runs off his dirt mark of 70, which is 14lb lower than the 84 he runs off on turf. He should be thereabouts in a race which doesn’t look that strong on paper.

The concluding nine and a half furlong handicap has a small field of five, including Tafaakhor, a good winner over nine furlongs here last time out. Al Rayhi’s five-year-old went up four pounds to a mark of 76 for that endeavour and as a consequence takes a leap up in grade here, although a small field is to his advantage and he has every chance of becoming the first horse to win twice this season.

Laura King

Tags: alain; jebelali; shadwell; sheikhhamdan; lauraking,

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