Shadwell UAE Season Preview - Week 5

Posted on: 19th Nov 2019

Tabdir: was one of two winners for Shadwell at Jebel Ali last week

HH Sheikh Hamdan is now leading the Owners’ Championship in the UAE after another double at Jebel Ali on Friday took him to six wins for the season.

Tadbir was the first to get on the scoresheet, landing the featured seven furlong Shadwell Farm Conditions race for Erwan Charpy and Dane O’Neill. The four-year-old made all of the running to secure his first local success and thrill his trainer, who commented: “We expected a much better effort last time, but he was never able to get into the race, so we decided to be positive on him this time. He’s a decent little horse and is definitely happier on the straight course so we’ll come back here.”

The second leg of the double came just half an hour later, when Musabbeh Al Mheiri’s Zainhom collected his first UAE win, under Antonio Fresu in the mile handicap.

There are three meetings in the Emirates this weekend; starting with Meydan on Thursday at which the Group 2 Bani Yas for Purebred Arabians is the sole Group race on the card.

Sheikh Hamdan is represented by Bon Baiser Du Faust, who will have his first run since March, when his finished down the field in the G1 Emirates Championship at Abu Dhabi. A good second over this trip in the Group 2 Liwa Oasis prior to that, he might need this first run of the season to bring him on, fitness-wise. Pat Dobbs rides, from a good draw in three.

Bon Baiser Du Faust’s trainer Doug Watson also runs Sauternes Al Maury, the mount of O’Neill, who is the third highest-rated in the field. Talented but quirky, he seems to keep the best of his form for Al Ain, where he was a good second in the Listed Mile on his penultimate start.

The feature is the mile Longines Master Collection Rated Conditions event, race five, in which Moqarrab takes his chance for Al Mheiri. Given just three starts last season, including a good second at Meydan, he has plenty of scope for improvement and is one of the more interesting runners on the card.

Sheikh Hamdan also runs Yaalail, who tries Meydan dirt for the first time after several good efforts on turf, including when only beaten four lengths at Abu Dhabi last time out.  By Intello, the surface switch is an uncertainty, but it is well worth a try as it could open up plenty of options if he adapts to it.

The six furlong Longines Dolce Vita Handicap, race six, features Jahaafel, who tries Meydan for the first time, having been well-held in a strong race at Abu Dhabi a month ago. Trained by Al Mheiri, the son of Style Vendome tackles conventional dirt for the first time here and it will be interesting to see how he fares. His rivals include the Ali Rashid Al Rayhi-trained Mustallib, who is yet to reproduce his smart UK form in the Emirates. However, he has shown pace and a drop of 7lbs by the handicapper should see him able to make the frame over his optimum trip.

Mayadeen runs in the final race, the Longines Grande Classique Handicap, over seven furlongs. Trained by Watson, he struggled last time when drawn wide over a mile but goes off a three pound lower mark this time. O’Neill rides from a difficult draw in nine.

Al Ain stages its second meeting of the season on Thursday and Shadwell run two Purebred Arabians. The first is Ainhoa Topchef, who made an encouraging return, after 18 months off the track, when sixth here last week. Trying ten furlongs for the first time here, he will be ridden by O’Neill from post five and faces 14 rivals.

Foaad takes his chance in the seven furlong handicap. Doug Watson’s Madjani gelding has been dropped four pounds by the handicapper after a lacklustre effort at Abu Dhabi last time. A winner here over nine furlongs in February, he might find this trip a little sharp.

Abu Dhabi hosts one of its biggest meetings of the year on Sunday, when the AED5million G1 Jewel Crown for Arabians takes place. Sheikh Hamdan sends out AF Mahshoum, whose three wins at the track have all come over further than this. He has scope to improve, but faces some top class Arabians here.

In the same race, Sheikh Rashid Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum, Sheikh Hamdan’s son, has his first UAE runner since 2006, when Bel’izam lines up for visiting French trainer Damien de Watrigant. Winner of a Conditions race at Toulouse last time, he was second to the re-opposing Al Shamoos in Group 2 company prior to that and won’t be far away again here.

Earlier on, Shadwell run two in the UAE Martyrs’ Cup, for Thoroughbreds over 11 furlongs, including joint-top weight Mudaarab, the mount of the returning Jim Crowley. The five-year-old has been a little inconsistent thus far in the UAE, but should appreciate being back on turf; his best run having come when third at Abu Dhabi over 12 furlongs last December.

Mudaarab’s trainer Charpy also runs Mujeeb, who backs up quickly after finishing seventh at Jebel Ali on Friday. Back on turf here, he takes a marked step up in distance for this third run of the campaign, but was staying on over nine furlongs when he last tackled that trip in April.

Laura King

Tags: shadwell; sheikhhamdan; meydan; alain; abudhabi,

Latest tweets