Shadwell UAE Season Preview Week 10, 2018

Posted on: 4th Jan 2018

There is plenty of action in Dubai this week

It’ s something of the calm before the storm at Meydan on Thursday, with the seven-race card being the last before the Dubai World Cup Carnival swings into action next week. There is still plenty of competitive action, however, and HH Sheikh Hamdan has some strong chances among his 10 runners during the evening.

The card begins with a maiden, in which the Ahmad bin Harmash-trained Sboog has his fourth career start and will be ridden for the second time by Jim Crowley. Unplaced in all three outings thus far, the son of The Factor has his first run for 11 months and first since being gelded, which may well bring about some improvement.

The Doug Watson-trained Almanaara lit up Meydan with an impressive display on his course debut in November, and the five-year-old returns over the same course and distance in the 1200metre District One Residences Handicap. Drawn widest of all in nine, he is nevertheless an exciting proposition who is just on the cusp of a Carnival rating, which he could achieve with a win here.

Three run for the Shadwell team in the 2000metre turf handicap, and Crowley has elected to ride Ostaad for Watson. A winner over 1800metres here last year, he has been putting in some good efforts at Abu Dhabi and is very much respected again this time.

Nafaqa, trained by Erwan Charpy, was one spot behind Ostaad in the Capital last time and he will be ridden by O’Neill. The six-year-old is yet to win in the UAE, but has plenty of ability and a strong pace would suit him here. Nolohay, trained by Watson and the mount of Pat Cosgrave, hasn’t won on turf since he was trained in France in 2014, but he has been running well recently and is well drawn in five.

The longest race of the night is the 2200metre District One Handicap, on dirt, which the Al Rashid A; Rayhi-trained Jaaref takes on from stall 13. A little unlucky when hampered on his most recent start, he stays well and isn’t without a chance if able to get to his preferred lead early on.

The final turf handicap, over 1400metres, has four runners in the blue and white, with Crowley partnering Tafaakhor for Al Rayhi. Well-held on dirt last month, he will appreciate the return to grass here but is another with a tough draw, starting from 15. Mukhmal, the mount of O’Neill for Charpy, hasn’t fared much better and will have to break from 14 as he aims to improve on a good effort in sixth on his local debut in November. The quartet is completed by Greeb, who bids for a first local win under Sam Hitchcott, and Sahaafy, trained by Maria Ritchie, who goes here off a four pound lower mark than his last run at Jebel Ali. He will be ridden by dual UK Champion Jockey Silvestre de Sousa.

Al Ain and Sharjah also race this weekend, but Sheikh Hamdan only has one further runner. The filly Don’t Lie Kitten, a winner at Meydan last season, heads to Al Ain where she will be the only mount on the card for Crowley.

By Laura King

Tags: shadwellracing; uae,

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