Saturday, January 21, 2012
Competitive field line up in Abu Dhabi
The Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club sponsor their meeting this Sunday, which is highlighted by a 1600m Purebred Arabian handicap for which 13 have been declared. It looks a very competitive affair with several in form rivals clashing with others taking a big drop in class.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum owns both Versac PY and Quite A Show who have been running well this season.
He is trained by Doug Watson who said: "We know the conditions suit him and he has a good draw. He is climbing the ratings quite quickly and this will be a real test for him but he is in good form at home and should go well. We also have MH Al Wadi in the race and he too can hopefully give a good account of himself in a hot race."
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan's second jockey, Tadhg O'Shea, rides Versac Py who is trained by Ewan Charpy and was second to Sarabella at Meydan last time having won his previous two starts.
Tony Manuel trains Sarabella who chased home Najem Al Khalij in the first Purebred Arabian race of the Meydan season.
The latter, trained by Jaber Bittar, has won his only subsequent race, over Sunday's course and distance and is another who has to be feared in an ultra competitive heat with the likes of Das El Samer and Zells Fred having competed in Group One company recently.
Baher and Forgehill Cezanne both represent powerful connections and it would be no surprise to see either bounce back to winning ways.
The only Thoroughbred race is the concluding 1200m handicap which looks just as competitive as the feature.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan, Watson and Hills again combine with a leading hope, this time Musaalem who has been running well enough at Meydan. He faces 11 rivals, including Garbah who was the impressive winner of a 1400m maiden here last time.
She represents Emirati trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe and has to be respected under Royston Ffrench who said: "She deserved that win having enjoyed no luck on two occasions this season. This is a lot better race but she is in good form at home."
Another to win here last time was nine-year-old Celtic King. That victory was over 1300m and, remarkably, on his turf debut on what was his 35th career start.
Trained by Musabah Al Muhairi, he was chased home by Fityaan on that occasion with Jose Adan in fourth and jockey Wayne Smith is hopeful they can confirm that form.
He said: "He did it well enough last time and certainly proved he goes on turf. He is a bit higher in the weights but seems very well in himself so we have to hope he can go close."
Read more articles in the Meydan category.