UAE Racing - Shadwell Preview w/c March 13th 2017

Posted on: 15th Mar 2017

Jim Crowley is set to ride ZAMAAM in the Group 3 Abu Dhabi Championship on Sunday.

It’s the final week of domestic action here in the UAE, with three meetings taking place. HH Sheikh Hamdan is level with Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda in the quest to retain his Champion Owners’ title and, as such, is well-represented this weekend.

14 run for Shadwell at Jebel Ali on Friday, including three in the second race, a seven furlong handicap. Kidd Malibu was the taking winner of a maiden here over course and distance a month ago and is the pick of retained jockey Jim Crowley. Still lightly-raced, he should go well again from stall 11 for trainer Maria Ritchie. Dane O’Neill is onboard UAE debutant Almanaara, who has joined Doug Watson from Dermot Weld in Ireland. A half-brother to the Group 1 winner and successful stallion Dark Angel, he was a 370,000Guineas purchase from breeder Malih Al Basti. The four-year-old son of Shamardal won a Tipperary maiden and could go well if adapting to conditions.

The third Shadwell runner in the race is Estidraak, the mount of Tadhg O’Shea, who tries Jebel Ali for the first time, having put in some good efforts in defeat at Meydan in recent weeks.

Jebel Ali introduces a new feature race, the Jebel Ali Silver Jubilee Classic over seven furlongs, for which Sheikh Hamdan has declared four. Mushaakis, winner last time over course and distance, carries the first colours and has a good chance of getting two wins in a row, receiving a kilo from likely favourite Forjatt. O’Neill rides Shaishee, who was well behind Mushaakis last time but has a chance on his best form.  The most intriguing of the quartet is Mutamakkin, a well-bred son of War Front who cost $875,000 as a yearling. Previously with Sir Michael Stoute, he has joined Doug Watson and brings some classy form from the UK, where he won twice. He tries dirt for the first time here and will surely be seen to better effect next season. Mutasayyid, a good winner on turf at Meydan last time, also represents the Watson yard but must prove as effective on dirt, having been well-held on his only try on the surface.

Another four run in the longest race of the day, over nine and a half furlongs. Crowley has elected to partner Ostaad, who will appreciate this longer trip and return to Jebel Ali. He has a huge chance of grabbing a win for Watson, who also runs top weight Jeeraan, the mount of Szczepan Mazur. Off since January, he has a tough task here with some more unexposed types in the field. These include Ali Al Rayhi’s classy Munaaser, mount of O’Neill, who makes a quick return after finishing third at Meydan last Thursday, but hasn’t been finishing his races very well  in recent weeks.

The final Shadwell runner in the race, carrying the red cap and Fernando Jara, is Muzdawaj, who shaped well when third here last time over nine furlongs. The extra distance will suit him and he is a live chance for Ritchie.

Al Ain hosts its tenth and final meeting on Sunday and Al Rayhi’s Alraased tops the weights in the only Thoroughbred race, a handicap over a mile. This trip might stretch him, but he has a good draw from which to go forward and should be in the mix.

Moving onto Abu Dhabi on Sunday, where the team run five on a good card in the Capital. Al Zahir was the taking winner of the Group 3 Arabian Triple Crown Round 2 last time out and Al Rayhi’s four-year-old will be hard to beat in Round 3. He is classy enough to be able to defy a penalty, plus an extra 2000metres.

Abu Dhabi’s Thoroughbred highlight of the season is the Group 3 Abu Dhabi Championship, over 11 furlongs. Sheikh Hamdan won it with Khusoosy in 2016 and, with that one sidelined, has four able deputies this time. Crowley has picked Carnival winner Zamaam, who returns to Abu Dhabi after finishing sixth in the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy at Meydan last time. He has a chance if settling early on, while O’Neill also has leading hopes on Jaaref, a well-bred son of Sea The Stars who won over course and distance last time. His trainer, Al Rayhi, also saddles Ijmaaly, who has been running well on Meydan’s turf and is a nice long-term prospect, while Saajid, a new recruit from France, has just his second local start for trainer Ritchie.

Dubai World Cup News

The projected fields for the 2017 Dubai World Cup meeting have been released and Sheikh Hamdan is set to have eight runners on the night. Muarrab will defend his crown in the Group 1, Dubai Golden Shaheen, over six furlongs on dirt, while the William Haggas-trained Mutakayyef travels from the UK to contest the Group I Dubai Turf.

Ertijaal (IRE), second last year, returns to the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint, now over six furlongs, while Basateen goes in the two mile Dubai Turf and stablemate Etijaah in the Godolphin Mile. Three will head to the Purebred Arabian Group 1, the Kahayla Classic, with Crowley likely to ride defending champion AF Mathmoon rather than Handassa or Versac PY.

By Laura King


Tags: uae; jebel ali; abu dhabi; al ain; shadwell,

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