Shadwell UAE Season Preview Week 14, 2018

Posted on: 30th Jan 2018

Barnamaj: bidding for glory at the highest level under Jim Crowley

Shadwell celebrated one victory in the UAE last weekend when Al Barez won the 1800metre handicap at Jebel Ali. The Ahmad bin Harmash-trained four-year-old had earlier won his maiden at the track and was claiming a second career win here, in the hands of Jim Crowley.

There are four meetings once again this week, with a super Dubai World Cup Carnival card at Meydan starting things off on Thursday, with HH Sheikh Hamdan running seven.

The team has an excellent record in the Group 1 Maktoum Challenge Round 2 for Arabians, over 2200metres, and this time run three. Jim Crowley has elected to ride Barnamaj, who made an excellent local and dirt debut when second to the re-opposing Paddy’s Day in Round 1. A maiden winner over 2000metres, this trip should suit him and he is well-drawn in five. O’Neill rides Al Zahir, a good fourth from a wide draw in the Madjani Stakes. He is another who will appreciate the extra distance, while Doug Watson’s Bon Baiser Du Faust will need to improve on his fifth in the race last year.

The 1200metre turf handicap sees Watson run Group 3 winner Waady, who steps up in trip after running well in defeat behind Ertijaal last time out. He should strip fitter and can give a good account from a handy stall in two.

The Group 2 Al Fahidi Fort is the feature on the card and includes defending champion Championship. Shadwell rely on the Mike De Kock-trained Janoobi, who steps up to a more suitable trip here having had a prep run over 1200metres two weeks ago.

The 1400metre dirt handicap is quite open and sees Tashweeq make his dirt debut for Maria Ritchie, having run down the field on turf last time out, while the 2410metre handicap on turf provides Jaaref with his ideal conditions. Ali Al Rayhi’s five-year-old registered his only UAE win over a trip just shorter than this at Abu Dhabi and is well-drawn in two under Crowley.

Al Ain races on Friday this week and the team rely on Watheeq, who lines up for Al Rayhi in the Thoroughbred handicap over 2000metres, a trip which suits him well. He is down a pound in the handicap, but might find it hard to adopt his usual front-running position from stall 14.

12 run in the famous white and blue at Meydan’s domestic meeting on Saturday, when there are eight races on the card.

Four of these go in the Mubadala-sponsored 1400metre dirt handicap, with Crowley electing to partner De Kock’s Alareef, a good second last time out behind the re-opposing Pirate’s Cove. The seven-year-old is three and a half kilos better off for that defeat, so must be considered here. Ajraam, third in the same race, also lines up here for Maria Ritchie who will leg up her stable jockey Fernando Jara.

 O’Neill rides Mushaakis, who makes a quick return having been well held at Jebel Ali on Friday over 1000metres, while course and distance winner Moosir will aim to bounce back from a rare disappointing effort two weeks ago, when he was drawn wide.

View Thursday's card here

Mastermind had a choice of engagements this weekend, but Erwan Charpy has opted to run him over 1400metres on turf on Saturday, where he will carry top weight in one of the night’s feature races. Well-held at the Carnival last time, he will benefit from both the drop in trip and grade here. He will be partnered by O’Neill, with Crowley opting for recent winner Ejaaby. Watson’s charge has gone up four pounds for a narrow success over 1200metre last time, but the extra trip should not be a problem and he has a good chance of following up here. He finished a way in front of Zaraee, the seven-year-old having returned from a four-year absence, and he will be fitter this time around.

Five line up for Shadwell in the closing 1800metre turf handicap. Crowley has chosen Tafaakhor who has run two good races in defeat and could be better now stepped up in distance. O’Neill therefore rides Ostaad, who likes the Meydan turf course but is yet to really fire this season. He also has to overcome a wide draw in 14.

View Saturday's cards here

Ritchie runs Azmaam, stepping up markedly in trip after running over 1200metres at Jebel Ali when last seen in December, and Muzdawaj. The latter returns from a 10-month break but had some good form when trained in the UK. The quintet is completed by Ijmaaly, who returns quickly having finished seventh over 1800metres at Jebel Ali last week.

Abu Dhabi was forced to postpone its meeting last week, but returns with seven races on Sunday. Shadwell run four, starting with Purebred Arabian Ainhoa Topchef in the 1400metre handicap. The five-year-old won his maiden here and can be forgiven a disappointing run last time as he was drawn very wide.

Sheikh Hamdan runs three in the card’s only Thoroughbred race, a 1600metre handicap, with Crowley opting to partner Mutawakked, who ran well when fifth here last time over a furlong shorter. O’Neill rides Sahaafy, who runs for the first time in the Capital, while the red cap is carried by Al Barez, who will aim to build on his good win at Jebel Ali last week.

By Laura King

Tags: uae; group1racing; dubai; meydan; lauraking,

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