Shadwell UAE Season Preview - Week 13

Posted on: 22nd Jan 2020

Alkaraama: set to make his UAE debut under Jim Crowley

Week four of the Carnival is upon us and HH Sheikh Hamdan runs five horses across Meydan’s six-race card on Thursday.

The excellent form of veteran Zamaam has been a pleasing aspect to the season so far and Erwan Charpy’s ten-year-old runs in the opening mile and a half turf handicap. Fourth over course and distance in a Listed event three weeks’ ago, he again carries just 53 kilos and should have a good chance of picking up a cheque again, with a stronger pace likely to suit him better. 

Sheikh Hamdan’s horses have won two of the three turf sprints so far, and he sends out two in the newly-upgraded Listed Dubai Dash, over five furlongs. Waady has been in great form this season and is the choice of Jim Crowley. The Doug Watson trainee was fourth in the G3 Dubawi Stakes last time out and is arguably better on turf. He has an obvious chance in an open race, from a good draw in seven. 

Rusumaat, the mount of Dane O’Neill, breaks from post one. Trained by Musabbeh Al Mheiri, the Arcano gelding has only run once at Meydan, when finding the dirt track tough going in the Listed Garhoud Sprint. Back on turf here will suit him and he is no forlorn hope, making just his third start in the Emirates since arriving in 2018. 

A ten furlong dirt handicap wraps up the night and Watson’s Etijaah is the first string here. Now ten years old, he’s a five-time course and distance winner, although has struggled to find his best form of late, and now runs of just 94, his lowest mark since 2016. That gives him a chance and he is not discounted with his last run likely to have brought him on. 

Dane O’Neill rides Edaraat for Ali Rashid Al Rayhi, who saddles the four-year-old for the first time, after he was a non-runner last week. Previously trained by Roger Varian in the UK, the son of Exceed And Excel tries dirt for the first time and also make his debut over this trip, the best of his UK form having come over a mile, including wins at Redcar and Kempton. 

After losing three meetings due to an unsuitable track, the popular Jebel Ali Racecourse returns in time for its biggest day on Friday, when the valuable Group 3 Derrinstown Stud Jebel Ali Mile forms the centrepiece of a seven-race card. 

Shadwell Farm sponsors race three, a five furlong handicap, in which the famous blue and white silks will be carried by four of the six runners. Crowley partners Alkaraama, a UAE debutant who used to be trained by Sir Michael Stoute. A winner three times on the All Weather in the UK, he has a lovely pedigree for dirt, being by War Front out of a Speightstown mare, and is a half-brother to Mark Of Approval, a winner at Meydan this term. Drawn well in post one, he is to be feared if fully ready for this local debut for Al Mheiri, over the shortest trip he has yet contested. 

Al Mheiri also runs Taneen, who returns after a near two year absence, under O’Neill. An impressive winner when last seen, over this course and distance, he runs from just a pound higher this time and Al Mheiri prepared Tashweeq to score off a similar break at Meydan on Saturday. 

Shajjy also ran on Saturday and the six-year-old wheels back quickly at what is probably his best track. However, he is yet to win in 16 runs in the UAE and the drop back to five furlongs might not see him to best effect. 

The opposite applies to bottom weight Raafid, who won over course and distance in March. Ali Al Rayhi’s seven-year-old has been well-held on his three starts this season, but he will be better suited to the return here. 

The team run four in race five, the Shadwell Handicap, over seven furlongs. Crowley rides Zainhom, who has been in good form lately, and finished sixth, beaten just a length and a quarter, on turf at the Carnival last week. A winner over a mile at Jebel Ali already this season, another bold bid can be expected. 

Zainhom’s trainer Musabbeh Al Mheiri also sends out Dalaalaat, who tries dirt for the first time, after running down the field on his local debut on turf three weeks’ ago. A son of Kingman, it remains to be seen how he will handle this new surface, but the best of his UK form would see him in with a chance under stable jockey Antonio Fresu. 

O’Neill rides Tadbir, who won a good quality Conditions race over course and distance in November. Back at Jebel Ali for the first time since, he should manage a lot better from a good draw in five. 

Al Rayhi saddles Karnavaal, another newcomer to racing here, having transferred from Sir Michael Stoute. By Dubawi out of an Arch mare, the transition to dirt should be fine for him, but he may need this first run since August. 

Farook is a Jebel Ali specialist, having racked up three wins in a row here in the 2017-18 season. He runs in the concluding six furlong handicap and will appreciate the straight course, having struggled around the bend at Meydan last time out. 

His opponents include the ten-year-old Alraased, who wasn’t beaten far at Meydan on turf last time and runs here off his 6lb lower dirt mark. He, too, is better back at Jebel Ali and should run his usual honest race. 

Shadwell also sponsor the card at Abu Dhabi on Sunday, where the feature is the G3 Al Ruwais for Purebred Arabians. Here, Munbaher returns for the first time since 2018, when he had three local starts for Al Mheiri, finishing well back in each. 

The Shadwell Gold Cup, a Prestige event over a mile, also sees the sponsor’s silks carried, by AF Mahshoum, who makes a quick return having been well-held here on Sunday in the President’s Cup Prep. Drawn in 14 then, he has fared slightly better this time and will break from stall 10 under Dane O’Neill. 

Derrinstown Stud sponsors the finale, a rare Thoroughbred maiden at Abu Dhabi, where Al Hadeer makes his local debut, for Al Rayhi. Formerly with William Haggas, the four-year-old was placed in good maidens on two of his three starts and it surely won’t be long before he loses that status here.

Tags: shadwell; jebel ali; meydan; laura king;,

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