Shadwell UAE Season Preview Week 24

Posted on: 3rd Apr 2019

Tafaahkor: is set to carry the colours of Sheikh Hamdan at Al Ain this week.

For the first time since the track opened in 2010, Meydan hosts meetings after the Dubai World Cup fixture and the racecourse has the second of three meetings in the Emirates this weekend.

Al Ain stages its 11th fixture of the campaign on Thursday and HH Sheikh Hamdan runs three in the only Thoroughbred race, a seven furlong handicap. With number one jockey Jim Crowley having returned to the UK, O’Neill has elected to ride Tafaahkor for Ali Rashid Al Rayhi. The five-year-old has been largely consistent this season, including a win at Abu Dhabi, but needs to prove he is as effective on the dirt as he is on the turf.

Al Rayhi also runs Etisalat, who has run well in all four UAE starts to date. Now off a career-low mark of 73, he has a big chance in lesser company here, with Fernando Jara on board, from a good stall in four.

The Shadwell trio is completed by Kidd Malibu, who is without a win since his UAE debut in February 2017. Musabbeh Al Mheiri’s six-year-old makes his Al Ain debut here and should give a good account under jockey Elione Chaves.

Meydan has three races on the turf on Friday and Sheikh Hamdan and Taamol and Tashaaboh clash in the first of them, over six furlongs on the straight course.

Tashaaboh is a newcomer to racing here, having joined Al Rayhi from Owen Burrows in the UK. Gelded since his last run at Kempton in October, he is lightly-raced and it will be interesting to see how he adapts to Meydan, under jockey Sandro Paiva. Stablemate Taamol has his ninth run of the season and second on turf. He was last seen running well in fourth at Jebel Ali but might find a few too good here.

The 11-furlong dirt handicap has a large field of 15, among which Erwan Charpy’s Thaaqib is drawn three, under Antonio Fresu. A winner here over 10 furlongs in February, he goes off a four pound higher mark here but has a nice low weight of 53 kilos.

Five different Shadwell caps are required in the mile turf Rated Conditions event, with O’Neill electing to ride newcomer Royal Crusade for Mike De Kock. The four-year-old was Grade 2-placed at home in South Africa but resumes here after a spell off the track so might be best-watched on this local debut.

Yaalail and Almoreb both go for Ali Al Rayhi, with the latter looking to build on a good second behind Craving last time out at Jebel Ali. Well-beaten on his only Meydan start, he is nevertheless a fresher horse than most and is respected here, under stable jockey Jara. Yaalail, meanwhile, heads back to the turf after being well-beaten last time at Jebel Ali. He ran well, held by just over five lengths, over course and distance the time before that and can’t be ruled out, with apprentice Saeed Al Mazrooei taking two and a half kilos off.

Charpy runs two, the promising Juthoor looking to build on his good win at Abu Dhabi in February. Well-beaten last time over course and distance, he has a better draw this time, in two, but has been overlooked by stable jockey Fresu who rides Mujeeb. Seventh over course and distance earlier this season, he has been shaping as if a win isn’t too far away.

Two carry the blue and white in the seven furlong dirt handicap, which is a cracking race for the grade, O’Neill has opted to partner Bawaasil, who made an eye-catching local debut, tiring close home, at Jebel Ali a month ago. Back on a level surface, he should go well again, but is not ideally-drawn in nine. He is backed up by owner-mate Farook, who resumes here off a 4lb lower mark after an eighth place, well below his best, at Jebel Ali last time.

The Group 2 Liwa Oasis, over seven furlongs on turf, is the final Purebred Arabian Group race of the season and it takes place at Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Sauternes Al Maury is the Shadwell representative and he heads here in good form, having just been denied in the Listed Al Ain Mile last time out. Pat Dobbs rides, from stall three.

The final race is a mile Thoroughbred handicap in which Alkhalifa takes his chance for Al Rayhi. The four-year-old has his first run on turf since arriving in the Emirates and, being by Kodiac, this should suit him better. Stall 13, however, makes it tricky for jockey Jara.

Tags: laura king; shadwell; racing; meydan; al ain; abu dhabi;,

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