In-Form Mazur And Returning Al Mobher Lead Al Ain Feature

Racing at Al Ain on Friday evening is highlighted by a Purebred Arabian handicap for which 13 have been declared. The 1400m affair is headed by Al Mobher and JAP Yajoud, who share the burden of top weight in what appears a very competitive contest.

To be ridden by Szczepan Mazur, currently joint top of the jockeys table on seven winners, Al Mobher is trained by Ibrahim Al Hadhrami and was an Al Ain winner, over 1000m, in January, but has won at 1400m, a feat he achieved on the Abu Dhabi turf just over a year ago. He has not been seen in public since finishing second, over the Al Ain 1000m in March, but his connections are in good form.

Mazur said: “The season has started very well and I could not be happier. Our horses are running well and I am getting some chances for other trainers. Al Mobher has not run for a while, but he seems in good form, so hopefully can go well in a competitive race.”

Royston Ffrench is aboard JAP Yajoud, to be saddled by Irfan Ellahi for Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum. A 5-year-old homebred, he has been off the track exactly a month longer than Mazur’s mount, but did win his first two starts last season, including over this course and distance in December three weeks after a 1000m Al Ain victory.

Ellahi said: “We know conditions suit him and my horses are generally running well. It is a good race, but hopefully he will be thereabouts.”

Having finished second on his first two local outings, over 1400m then 1600m, on the Abu Dhabi turf, Somoud then made a winning dirt debut here at Al Ain over 1800m in April, his most recent public outing. Trained by Ahmed Al Mehairbi for Yas Horse Racing Management, he has the assistance of Richard Mullen in the saddle and certainly merits respect in a competitive heat.

The trio of Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda, Ernst Oertel and Tadhg O’Shea are always feared in these races, so AF Mekhbat certainly should not be ignored. Only a 4-year-old, this will be just his third start having finished second at Sharjah in February over 1200m before winning in March over Friday’s course and distance.

“He is a young horse with very low mileage,” O’Shea said. “We hope he is going to improve on what he achieved last season and this looks a good race to get him back on the track.”

For HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Eric Lemartinel, Fabrice Veron is aboard RB Burning Ash, another representing powerful connections while, for his main employer HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dane O’Neill rides Foaad trained by Doug Watson.

The only Thoroughbred race is a maiden over 1800m. On official ratings, from those with a handicap mark, Autumn Pride is the one to beat with Connor Beasley riding for Helal Al Alawi. That said, the Teofilo 3-year-old gelding was tailed off on his local and dirt debut at Meydan at the end of October. Watson’s Alda’Iya, one of just two mounts on the card for Pat Dobbs, may be a more reliable proposition in a very winnable race.