Dubai: Serhaal looks the one to beat in the feature race of the day at the Sharjah Equestrian Club on Saturday.
The son of Green Desert was a hard-working winner of a five furlong contest at the track three weeks ago and can be expected to improve on that performance when he faces a maximum field in the thoroughbred handicap over an extra furlong.
Two-time British champion Paul Hanagan, who takes the ride for trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe, said of his chances: “I was not on board when he won earlier this month but he needed every yard of the 1,000 metres on that occasion, so the extra 200 metres should suit.”
Serhaal is once again opposed by the Dhruba Selvaratnam-trained Parvaaz, who was beaten by a neck when they last clashed at the track.
A son of Rahy, Parvaaz will be ridden by apprentice Sam James.
The meeting concludes with a 1,700m conditions race, which is arguably the best of the Purebred Arabian action.
Trainer Ernst Oertel is set to saddle three of the 13 runners in the concluding Purebred Arabian feature, with champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea on board Richlore.
The jockey said: “She was just touched off here on her debut so we know the dirt surface is not an issue. She then ran well enough on turf at Abu Dhabi and hopefully she will run well.”
Five of the 13 runners are making their racecourse debuts, with AF Al Fareed the most appealing of two debutants trained by Gill Duffield and jockey bookings suggesting that Qutoof is the best of the Tony Manuel runners.