Saturday, March 07, 2009

Group 1 turf race on at Abu Dhabi on Sunday

The Group 1 Liwa Oasis, over 1400m on the Abu Dhabi turf, is the highlight of the Capital’s 13th meeting of the season on Sunday with seven declared.

Kindly sponsored by Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, the Liwa Oasis has been won in each of the last two years by wonder mare Mizzna but, sadly, she is out injured.

In her absence, Doug Watson’s Quaolina looks the most likely winner in the hands of Richard Hills and the trainer said: “She has had one run for us and ran very well. She is going well at home and this looks an ideal opportunity for her.”

She is owned by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, as are both Remarkable Man and Tashreefat who could prove the main dangers.

The other six races all have maximum fields of 16 and finding winners is going to be very tricky throughout.

Rod Simpson appears to have several chances throughout the evening, while Julian Smart, formerly based on the Abu Dhabi track, saddles two raiders from his new base in Oman.

With Doug Watson looking certain to retain his UAE trainers’ championship, all eyes will be on the jockeys’ race in which Fernando Jara and William Buick are currently locked on 21 winners apiece – but with six jockeys, including Hills and Richard Mullen, hard on their heels.

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