Al Hammadi hoping continue Al Ain success with Octave but AF Mahzamy could steal the show for Al Nabooda

Al Ain race for the third time already this season on Friday with a seven race card featuring a 1400m handicap which concludes proceedings and has attracted a competitive field of 12.

Abdallah Al Hammadi saddled four winners for Al Ajban Stables at the Al Ain fixture last Thursday and they combine with Octave, the mount of Pat Cosgrave.

The 6yo was caught in the dying strides last Thursday by stable companion Goshawke, who was ridden by Cosgrave, in the featured 1800m conditions race and both his victories have been registered in races with Prestige status, albeit over 2200m on the Abu Dhabi turf and the marathon 5100m trip here at Al Ain.

He has been placed third, on the Abu Dhabi turf, over 1400m and may have a sufficient class edge to cope with this assignment.

Cosgrave’s mount shares the burden of top weight with Avez De Pine, to be ridden by Ray Dawson for Ahmed Al Mehairbi. A 5yo, he arrived from Europe a winner four times from just five starts but has not built on that in the UAE.

Having shown promise on his first two local starts, on the Abu Dhabi turf, he was then very disappointing at the same venue before two underwhelming efforts here at Al Ain, including over 1000m a fortnight ago.
He needs to bounce back to the level he showed in Europe to be competitive here.

A 5yo homebred gelding, Al Wathba Racing’s Atrash looks a big danger to all with Bernardo Pinheiro in the saddle for Majed Al Jahoori.

He has not raced since October 2020 when winning a 1200m Sharjah handicap, doubling his career tally on just his fourth start in the process.

However, an absence of more than a year is not a great concern from a trainer whose horses are running well and it would be no surprise to see him at least go close.

It does look competitive though and Heros De Lagarde, JAP Yajoud, AF Ramz, as well as Munfared, are just another quartet to consider.

The meeting kicks off with a 2000m handicap, for horses in private ownership and in which AF Mahzamy bids to further enhance his reputation.

Only a 4yo, homebred by Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda, he has won half of his four career starts to date, including his most recent, on his seasonal debut, when never headed in a 2200m handicap on the Abu Dhabi turf almost a fortnight ago.

He shed his maiden tag, at the second attempt, over 1800m here at Al Ain when taking the 1800m Al Ain Derby, a Prestige contest, in February this year.

Trained by Ernst Oertel, he will be partnered by Al Nabooda’s retained jockey, local champion Tadhg O’Shea, who said: “He is a really nice young horse and in great heart as he showed with his Abu Dhabi victory a fortnight ago. That was over 2200m and also proved he is versatile because he won the Al Ain Derby over 1800m last season.
“He has just had the four starts, winning twice, and hopefully has a bright future. This looks a good spot for him and we have to be very hopeful.”

The only Thoroughbred race is a 2000m maiden in which, according to official ratings at least, Makashi looks the one to beat under Dane O’Neill for Erwan Charpy.

A 3yo Siyouni gelding, he showed promise on several occasions during nine outings in Britain for Simon & Ed Crisford but was well beaten on his local debut, for Charpy, at Meydan a fortnight ago.

For Bhupat Seemar and O’Shea, Al Watan perhaps heads the dangers along with stablemate Line Of Attack, the mount of apprentice Sean Kirrane.
Ray Dawson rides Anizzah for Ahmad bin Harmash and connections will be hoping he can go one place better than when caught close home in a 1700m Sharjah handicap three weeks ago.

Of the least experienced runners, Sahel Benghazi and Brontology made pleasing debuts recently for Helal Alalawi and Salem bin Ghadyer respectively. Both have the potential to benefit from those initial experiences and be very competitive in this.