Shadwell UAE Season Preview Week 6, 2017

Posted on: 6th Dec 2017

NATHR cruising to victory back in January 2017

The fifth week of the 2017-18 UAE racing season saw success for the Shadwell team at Jebel Ali, where the progressive Kasb became the first horse to win twice in the Emirates this season. Partnered by Dane O’Neill, Ali Rashid Al Rayhi’s Arcano gelding did his best work late to just deny former Group 3 winner Yalta in a thrilling finish to the 1200metre handicap. Now rated 96, he has done enough to secure a run at the Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan, which begins on January 11th.

Meydan hosts its third meeting of the campaign on Thursday, and HH Sheikh Hamdan has a strong team declared for the seven-race card.

The first of two 1400metre handicaps, for horses rated between 60 and 75, sees the reliable Moosir step up in trip after winning over 1200metres a fortnight ago. Given a 6lb rise for that win, he does stay further than this and has to be considered if able to overcome joint-top weight. Don’t Lie Kitten, who won her maiden over this track and trip last November, drops down in grade having last been seen finishing eighth in the Group 3 UAE Oaks.

The 1600metre handicap is one of two races on the card worth AED190,000, and Nathr heads the weights for trainer Doug Watson. A winner over course and distance in January, he will be fitter for his first run of the season a month ago and will appreciate the return to the mile. He goes up against the Maria Ritchie-trained Ajraam, yet to win over this trip in the UAE, who has a handy weight of 53.5kgs  but is again drawn wide, having suffered the same issue when seventh against some smart rivals two weeks ago.

Three-year-old Dark Angel gelding Tafaakhor makes his debut for Al Rayhi in the second 1400metre handicap, trying dirt for the first time. Formerly based in the UK with Richard Hannon, he was a winner at Newmarket only in July and has the pedigree to do well here. Having only raced a few months ago, he should be fit for this local bow.

The 2000metre handicap looks very competitive and Nolohay runs here, making his second start for Doug Watson. Fourth last time over a mile, this extra distance should suit him, and he looks well-handicapped, being 13lbs lower than when he won at the Carnival in February 2015. He faces Jaaref, who will be ridden by Paolo Sirigu. The four-year-old son of Sea The Stars was an excellent second over course and distance two weeks’ ago and can make another bold show from a handy draw in one.

Sheikh Hamdan is not represented at Al Ain on Friday but runs two at Abu Dhabi two days later, including the smart filly Aljazi in the 1600metre Conditions event. Well-beaten after missing the break in a Group 3 here last week, this is an easier task as she looks to collect her first local victory against just four rivals.

The Gee Whiz Handicap, for Thoroughbreds over 1400metres, features Jebel Ali winner Kidd Malibu, who reverts to turf for trainer Richie. Second twice on it when trained in Ireland, it will be interesting to see how he fares on his first run in the Capital. 

By Laura King

Tags: dubai, uae, thoroughbred, racing, shadwell,

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