٢١ فبراير ٢٠٢٤

ERA Abu Dhabi Preview

In what is a quick five-day turnaround for Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club following one of their marquee fixtures last weekend, the capital racecourse hosts a six-race card on Thursday with the only Thoroughbred contest on the programme attracting the most interest.

The race, which sees 13 go to post chasing the AED80,000 purse on offer, brings together virtually the same field that stepped into the gates a month ago in a 2400m (0-75) handicap won by Ismail Mohammed trainee Ala Kaifi.

Going by the way the previous 0-75 handicap panned out on January 25th, both Mohammed representatives are likely to be the ones to stop here with Ala Kaifi joined by the dangerous looking Desert Snake.

The stablemates were separated by three quarters of a length on that occasion with Desert Snake (Adrie de Vries) taking great strides to close in sharply after finding himself well adrift at the 400m marker after Ala Kaifi (Gabriele Malune) seized the running from Salem bin Ghadayer’s runaway leader Trumpet Man.

The old adversaries return to the stewardships of Malune and De Vries respectively and the latter could do with a bit more luck this time and a better position around mid-division is bound to help the four-year-old Anodin gelding’s cause. 

Malune and the Mondialiste entire deserve credit for capturing a good position from their wide draw and making their bid when they did, but their stable companions might be tipped to improve on a performance that saw them close in sharply.  

As previously mentioned, the field is a replica of the previous C&D in January, with Lost Gold (third), Aldhaja (fourth), Act Of  Wisdom (fifth), 

Mouser (sixth), El Faras (ninth), Mudaarab (10th) all reopposing.

Joint top-rated One World (Tadhg O’Shea), trained by Bhupat Seemar, was not part of the action last time and the four-year-old Sea The Stars gelding, formerly trained by John and Thady Gosden for Juddmonte, could be the only real surprise factor for Mohammed’s pair, having progressed over his two starts since debuting in January for the Zabeel. 

One World seemed to prefer the slightly-longer 2000m strip at Meydan when seventh behind Intricacy a fortnight ago in a race in which he was badly hampered and left without room in which to stretch. It would be harsh not to excuse him for that and he remains of most interest among the challengers.

 

MULLEN LOOKING FOR MORE ABU DHABI JOY

On the Purebred Arabian side of things, the 0-90 handicap sprint over 1200m (TIME) seems a perfect fit for Hamad Al Marar’s ES Sudani to return to the winners’ enclosure in the hands of the in-form Richard Mullen. Versatile when it comes to distance, ES Sudani claimed all his three career wins at the venue, including one over C&D and, while he will be heavily favoured, there are a few others that could appreciate the cut in trip.

Almotajalliah, Al Laith and Ammar, winners over 1600m here, could all be favoured with the latter perhaps of more interest for his fifth behind course expert HM Alchahine in the Listed Abu Dhabi Championship last month.

Ammar’s Yas Racing teammate Faraah deserves respect as well for her seventh behind the world’s highest rated Purebred Arabian Al Ghadeer in a G3 in France. 

 

TAAJER LOOKS FOR CAREER WIN NO.5

The other significant event for Purebred Arabians is the 2200m 0-80 handicap for UAE bred horses, which could go the way of the Dennis O’Brien’s Taajer (Mullen), a two-time C&D victor here last season.

Ernst Oertel saddles AF Mukhrej, another to have a pair of C&D triumphs under his belt, wins gained in January 2022. Maimoun RS turned up a big five length winner of a handicap here for trainer Abubakar Daud and Connor Beasley and has the English rider back in the saddle looking for a repeat. 

A pair of maidens, over 1600m and 2200m, and a leg of the Wathba Stallions Cup for Private Owners, which will be run as a 0-65 handicap over 2200m, supplement the card.