Shadwell UAE Season Preview Week 25

Posted on: 9th Apr 2019

Muzdawaj: is set run in the ten furlong turf Nad Al Sheba Classic

The final week of the extended UAE season is upon us, with Al Ain wrapping up on Thursday, a day before Meydan hosts the season finale; a valuable seven race card.

HH Sheikh Hamdan has 14 chances to add to his winners haul at Meydan, beginning in the second race where Shajjy makes his 11th start of the campaign. The Musabbeh Al Mheiri trainee has fared better at Jebel Ali, finishing second over five furlongs, but is well drawn in five for this six furlong test.

The seven furlong turf handicap, race three, is an open race and Yaalail makes his fourth local start, for trainer Al Rashid Al Rayhi. Fifth over a mile last week, he should appreciate this drop back in distance and has leading claims under jockey Fernando Jara. Taking him on is Erwan Charpy’s Farook, who reverts to turf after three unsuccessful spins on the dirt. He’s yet to run over this course and distance, but should find this easier than his recent assignments. Fabrice Veron rides from stall six.

Meydan has introduced two new Rated Conditions races, the first of which is the Meydan Mile, on dirt. Charpy’s Moqarrar was an impressive winner over course and distance in January. Now back down to a mark of 89, just 2lbs higher than that success, he is respected from the best draw in one, with stable jockey Antonio Fresu taking the ride.

Sheikh Hamdan runs three in the second of the features, the ten furlong turf Nad Al Sheba Classic. The well-bred Gabr shares top weight on his local debut, having moved to Doug Watson from Sir Michael Stoute in the UK. A Listed winner over ten furlongs, these conditions should suit but it’s unlikely that this race was the original aim for the son of Intello, who may be seen to better advantage next season.

Royal Crusade steps up in trip after running down the field over a mile here last week. Trained by Mike De Kock, that was a belated start to his UAE career and he will improve for a summer here in the UAE. Of the Shadwell trio, Muzdawaj has the best form, having scored over nine furlongs here in February. The six-year-old, a half-brother to top class sprinter Ertijaal, takes a big drop in grade, having run in the Group 1 Jebel Hatta last time, and is one of the leading fancies under Fabrice Veron.

The very competitive Al Tayer Motors Handicap, over ten furlongs on dirt, sees Etijaah drop in class from an excellent second in Listed company last time. Five times a winner over this course and distance, he has a good chance of making it six here, in the hands of George Buckell.

No fewer than six Shadwell horses contest the final race of the whole season; the Longines La Grande Classique Handicap, over nine furlongs on turf. Al Rayhi runs two of them; Tafaakhor having the assistance of apprentice Saeed Al Mazrooei, who takes off two and a half kilos. A good second under similar conditions two starts ago, he’s not ruled out and neither is stable companion Almoreb. Third, after running on, over a mile last week, he’s the pick of stable jockey Jara and can build on a strong start to his UAE career.

Takatul has had a bigger break than most of his rivals, having run down the field at Jebel Ali three weeks ago. Back on turf for the first time since his UK days, he shouldn’t be too far away, while Bawaasil is another who returns quickly, having disappointed over seven furlongs on dirt here last week.

Lastly, Antonio Fresu has elected to ride Mujeeb, a good fourth over a mile last week, of the two trained by Erwan Charpy. A winner over this trip when based in France, he can collect a cheque here from a good barrier in eight. The draw has been less kind to Juthoor, who goes from stall 15 under Veron and who was four spots behind Mujeeb last week.

Tags: meydan; al ain; laura king; shadwell; uae;,

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