Shadwell UAE Season Preview Week 3

Posted on: 8th Nov 2018

The action continues at Meydan

The UAE stages three meetings this weekend, and HH Sheikh Hamdan has runners at two of them; with 12 horses engaged between Meydan and Abu Dhabi.

Meydan takes centre stage on Thursday for its second meeting of the season. The action begins for Shadwell in the fourth race, where three carry the blue and white silks. Taamol contested some good quality races last season and takes a drop to handicap company for Ali Al Rayhi and Dane O’Neill. Although yet to win in the UAE, the four-year-old has shown plenty of dash and is sure to be fit for this seasonal debut.

The lightly-raced Shajjy carries the black cap, for jockey Ben Curtis and trainer Musabbeh Al Mheiri. Having just his third start in the Emirates, the Invincible Spirit gelding wasn’t beaten far at Jebel Ali a fortnight ago and tackles Meydan dirt for the first time. They are joined in the seven furlong race by the Erwan Charpy-trained Mujeeb, also taking on Meydan’s dirt for the first time, who should be fit from a run at Jebel Ali on opening day.

The mile handicap looks very competitive and the Al Rayhi-trained Tafaakhor goes for the team under O’Neill. Fourth over this course and distance on his last run in March, he can go close if able to overcome a tricky draw in 11, widest of all.

Two go for Sheikh Hamdan in the six furlong handicap, with O’Neill opting to ride the reliable Ajraam for Al Mheiri. Although without a win since November 2016, the eight-year-old was unlucky a couple of times last season and looks sure to play a part here from stall seven. His rivals include local debutant Alkhalifa, who joins Al Rayhi from Brian Meehan’s stable in the UK. The winner of one of his seven starts to date, it remains to be seen how he will adapt to dirt, being a son of Kodiac.

Kidd Malibu ran well at Jebel Ali last time, beaten just two and three-quarter lengths, and he faces 11 rivals in the closing mile handicap. Well-berthed in five, he can go well if adapting to Meydan, where he is yet to run. He’s the pick of O’Neill over Charpy’s Thaaqib, who takes a drop in trip after being well-held over ten furlongs last week.

View the Meydan card here

Four represent Sheikh Hamdan in the only Thoroughbred race at Abu Dhabi, the Martyrs’ Cup, on Friday. O’Neill has opted for the lightly-raced Zainhom, who made an encouraging local debut when fifth on his first dirt start at Jebel Ali. This is a very competitive race, but he is very much respected.

Zainhom is trained by Al Mheiri who also runs Ibn Malik, who has struggled in his two local starts to date but who may fare better for his second season here and first try at Abu Dhabi. Watson’s Basateen hasn’t won since his explosive debut in the Emirates, but is drawn well in five, while Jaaref will enjoy being back on turf after running down the field at Meydan last week.

View the Abu Dhabi card here 

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