Shadwell UAE Racing Preview - w/c March 6th 2017

Posted on: 8th Mar 2017

AL ZAHIR, by MADJANI, was victorious under Jim Crowley in Round 2 of the Arabian Triple Crown (Gr.3) at Abu Dhabi on Sunday, March 5th.

HH Sheikh Hamdan claimed another Group 3 winner on Sunday, when Madjani colt Al Zahir made a smooth start to local life in Round 2 of the Arabian Triple Crown at Abu Dhabi. He registered a near three-length success in the hands of Jim Crowley, who said: “he feels like a really nice horse and he’s not short of speed. Next year we could have a very good horse on our hands.”

Eight represent the Shadwell team at Meydan’s domestic fixture on Thursday, starting with the three-year-old filly Al Whaad, who was eighth on her debut at Jebel Ali on Friday. She faces her elders here and it looks a tough task on paper.

Just eight go in the seven furlong handicap, with Moosir drawn widest of all. Winner over a mile on this card last year, he has found things difficult off an elevated mark since.

Sheikh Hamdan owns nearly half of the field in the six furlong handicap, with Raafid the choice of Crowley. The Shamardal gelding takes a notable drop in grade having run eighth in the Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal last weekend  and he remains lightly-raced here. Arguably an even better chance is held by his stablemate Estidraak, the mount of Tadhg O’Shea. Second behind the re-opposing Mutahaddith last time, he is two kilos better off with that rival this time. Ajraam, off since a disappointing run at Jebel Ali in January, and Greeb complete the Shadwell team. The latter reverts to dirt after two disappointing efforts on turf.

A mile handicap is one of two feature races on the card, where Munaaser makes a quick return from his good third at Jebel Ali on Friday. A Carnival winner in 2015, he has probably his optimum conditions here and a good draw, from which Crowley can send him forward. Nolohay, two spots behind him at Jebel Ali, races in a handicap over a mile at Meydan for the first time since winning over course and distance at the Carnival in February 2015.

Four take their chances at Al Ain on Friday, including two in the ten furlong Thoroughbred Handicap. Entifaadha has twice run well, finishing second and fourth, at the course in recent weeks and is the choice of Crowley, with O’Neill riding Watheeq, who runs here for just the second time.

The Prestige Al Ain Mile carries a good purse of AED150,000 and Shadwell have two strong chances with the consistent El Salaam and Sauternes Al Maury, the mount of Crowley.

El Salaam, out of the first four only twice in eight runs this season, surely deserves a change of luck, but the lightly-raced Sauternes Al Maury could be too strong here. He returns to the track and trip of his most recent win, in November, and takes a drop down in grade having run in Maktoum Challenge Round 1, a Group 1, last time out.

The team run two apiece at Sharjah’s final meeting of the season on Saturday and at Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Alraased, a winner over six furlongs at Sharjah in November, will be hard to catch again here, with similar conditions in the card’s only Thoroughbred race. Later on, course specialist The Secret defends his title in the one mile seven Sharjah Marathon and is rated just two pounds higher this time.

Aljazi heads the Abu Dhabi-bound pair on Sunday, lining up in the fillies’ and mares’ conditions race for new trainer Al Al Rayhi. The winner of one of her two starts in France, she is well-regarded at home and should be hard to beat in a competitive field, in which she is rated well clear of her rivals. Later on, Jabal Aly goes for Erwan Charpy. A good second here over 11 furlongs last time, he may find the mile a little too sharp on this occasion.

By Laura King


Tags: shadwell; jim crowley; al zahir; madjani; meydan; al ain; sharjah,

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