Shadwell UAE Season Preview Week 4

Posted on: 13th Nov 2018

TAAMOL winning by two and a quarter lengths at Meydan last week.
Pic; Shamela Hanley

HH Sheikh Hamdan enjoyed an excellent weekend in the UAE, claiming the feature race at Meydan and the only Thoroughbred race at Abu Dhabi.

Taamol was dropping down in grade when he contested the seven furlong handicap at Meydan on Thursday, but landed his first UAE race in the style of a good horse, quickening well under Dane O’Neill and passing the post two and a quarter lengths clear of his rivals. It was a first winner of the season for O’Neill, who commented: “We were very hopeful today when dropping the horse in class as we knew he was in good form coming into the race.”

Shadwell’s good weekend continued at Abu Dhabi on Friday when Jaaref emerged on top in a highly-competitive edition of the Martyr’s Cup at Abu Dhabi, beating Zainhom, also owned by Sheikh Hamdan. The Ali Rashid Al Rayhi-trained winner is now likely to head to the Listed National Day Cup back at the same track.

On to this weekend, where the team sends out 10 runners, starting at Jebel Ali on Friday, in which two go in the second race, the seven furlong Al Shafar Investment handicap. O’Neill rides Mussabeh Al Mheiri’s Mutawakked, who showed promise on his Jebel Ali debut three weeks ago, finishing third over course and distance behind the re-opposing Kunani. The draw has been unkind to him once again, however, and he breaks from stall 13.

Raafid goes in the same race, but Al Al Rayhi’s charge must bounce back from a below-par effort last time out, for which he has been dropped 3lbs by the handicapper.

Al Rayhi also runs one in the three-year-old Conditions event; Alkhalifa returning quickly after being well-held at Meydan on Thursday. However, he showed a deal of pace on that occasion and will have a fitness edge on his main rivals here on a track which his trainer feels will suit him.

Derrinstown Stud sponsors the featured six furlong Rated Conditions event, which looks a cracker. Four Shadwell runners take part, with O’Neill electing to partner local debutant Rusumaat for Al Mheiri. The four-year-old was a four-time winner for Mark Johnston in the UK and has his first run since being gelded here. A son of Arcano, he should handle the dirt and it is fascinating that he is in at this level after 14 months off the track.

O’Neill rides him over 2016 G1 Golden Shaheen winner Muarrab, who sadly missed the Dubai World Cup meeting this year with a last-minute injury. The nine-year-old, who is eight for nine at Jebel Ali, is now back with Al Mheiri, who said: “I wanted to run him on the straight track first as he’s had injuries. He’s fit, but I don’t want him to have a hard race.”

Sheikh Hamdan’s two other runners in the race will both be ridden by their trainers’ stable jockeys. Pat Dobbs is onboard Group 3 winner Waady for Doug Watson, while Antonio Fresu rides three-time Jebel Ali winner Farook for Erwan Charpy.

Al Mheiri unleashes another UAE debutant in the penultimate nine furlong handicap. Takatul was previously in the care of Charles Hills and runs for the first time in well over a year. The winner of four of his ten starts to date, the five-year-old is bred for the dirt, being by Smart Strike, and can have an impact here.

The final race sees the Charpy-trained Thaaqib take on a full field of 15 rivals over nine furlongs. The four-year-old is unplaced in all five local starts and steps back up in trip here as he bids to build on a solid fifth-placed effort at Meydan last week.

Veiw the Jebel Ali race card here 

Sharjah hosts its second meeting of the season on Saturday and Ashraaf goes in the featured AED100,000 HE Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nayhan Cup, for Purebred Arabians over an extended mile. Absent since January, the seven-year-old is yet to win in the UAE and tries Sharjah for the first time.

Tags: jebel ali; sharjah;,