Dubai; Jebel Ali Racecourse hosts an attractive seven-race card on Friday with several of the afternoon’s races including the opening Purebred Arabian event, comprising big fields which will make for very interesting viewing.
The official feature of the afternoon is a 1,950m conditions race sponsored by Shadwell, the breeding empire of principal Jebel Ali patron Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance.
Restricted to horses who have not won more than one race, the event has drawn a field of seven where veteran Dubai-based handler Erwan Charpy is responsible for three of them, including joint-top weight Blue Sovereign, Cranesbill and King’s Shadow.
Stable jockey Clement Lecouvre, who is in search of his first UAE winner, rides Blue Sovereign, winner of a 3,000m contest at Al Ain in February.
French compatriot Fabrice Veron partners Cranesbill, a course and distance winner last November with eight-time UAE Champion Jockey, Tadhg O’Shea aboard King’s Shadow, a Jebel Ali winner over 1,800m when previously trained by Satish Seemar at the Zabeel Stables.
Assessing the chances of his trio, Charpy told the ERA: “Blue Sovereign has been in consistent form and we want to try him back at Jebel Ali, which he never liked before, now that they have improved the surface. Cranesbill likes it there and, if he does not get too far back early on, should be right there and we think King’s Shadow will appreciate conditions, so we hope we have three live chances.”
Trainer Satish Seemar relies on Lady Snazz, who will be making her Jebel Ali debut following a success at Meydan in a 1,900m maiden in November.
Assistant trainer, Bhupat Seemar, said: “This looks a good race for her to try to win a second time and we get to try her at Jebel Ali as well. She is in good form and this looks an ideal spot given the race conditions.”
The race is sponsored by Shadwell and Sheikh Hamdan’s famous blue and white colours are carried by both Maqaadeer, to be ridden by Pat Dobbs for Doug Watson, and Karnavaal who races out of trainer Ali Rashid Al Rayhi’s yards, He is the choice of Sheikh Hamdan’s retained jockey, Dane O’Neill.
A four-year-old Shadwell homebred by Dubawi, this will be just his fourth local outing since being transferred from Michael Stoute’s yard in Britain to Dubai,
Elsewhere on the card, a quality 1,400m handicap will be contested by the maximum allowed field of 16, with several contenders hoping to prove themselves as possible 2021 Dubai World Cup Carnival candidates.
The weights are headed by the Doug Watson-trained Canvassed, a lightly raced five-year-old son of Shamardal, who has won two of his four starts when previously trained by Roger Varian in the UK.
Representing Epsom Derby-winning owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum, Canvassed will be having only his second local start after a 386-day break.
He may not have run to expectations on his local and dirt debut over 1,600m on that occasion at Meydan last November but Watson remains positive and said: “He is a horse we are really looking forward to getting back on the track because we have always really liked him. Obviously he has not been straightforward and we could not get him back out last season, but he is in great form now and should run a big race.”
Another noteworthy contender is Riflescope, to be ridden by Richard Mullen for Satish Seemar.
Race 1: 1. Af Al Moreeb, 2 Ss Jalmod
Race 2: 1. Canvassed, 2. Moqtarreb
Race 3: 1. Major Cinnamon, 2 Mazagran
Race 4: 1. Karnavaal, 2 Lady Snazz
Race 5: 1. Miracle Maker, 2. Tailor’s Row
Race 6: 1. Bladesmith, 2. Just You Wait
Race 7: 1. Galaxy Road, 2. Rich And Famous
Day’s Best: Canvassed