Cracking Al Ain highlight, the finale, looks well worth the wait on card Classic-placed Thoroughbred fillies clash in maiden

Friday’s third meeting of Al Ain’s new season is highlighted by the concluding 1400m handicap for which 12 have been declared, the weights headed by the lightly-raced Tabaasheer, trained by Ahmad bin Harmash for Sultan Ali and to be partnered by Ray Dawson.

The 4yo colt ran well for a long way in the 1400m Group 2 Bani Yas at Meydan last week and returns to the scene of his maiden success, over 1600m, on his final of three local appearances last season. He has shown plenty of speed in his UAE career and this trip on a track he clearly likes could unlock more improvement.

A winner thrice after just nine starts, including a pair of Al Ain victories, highlighted by the 1800m Al Ain Derby but also successful in a maiden over this track and trip, seasonal debutant Yas Xmnsor looks capable of a big run, Saif Al Balushi riding for Khalifa Al Neyadi.

Al Neyadi is utilising the valuable 3kgs claim afforded to apprentice Khalid Al Balushi aboard course specialist AF Ramz, seeking a seventh career success on the only course he has ever won. He was third in the equivalent race last year.

Representing powerful connections AF Marmuq (Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda/Ernst Oertel/Tadhg O’Shea) and Musheer Al Wathba (Al Wathba Racing/Jead de Roualle/Richard Mullen) are just two others to consider in a fascinating feature.

The only Thoroughbred contest is a 2000m maiden which looks at the mercy of Arabian Gazelles, assuming she can translate her Meydan form to these new surroundings, O’Shea riding for Bhupat Seemar in the colours of Mrs Fitri Hay.

Part of a quartet of 3yos among the 14 declared runners, the Mastery filly will be having just her fourth career start and is taking a massive drop in class having contested the 1900m Group 2 UAE Derby when last seen in public. Prior to that she was runner-up, over the same course and distance in the Group 3 UAE Oaks having finished fourth, over 1400m, on debut in a Meydan fillies’ maiden at the very end of January.

Salem bin Ghadayer saddles both Panoshoshic and Kuchisabishii for Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Royston Ffrench opting for the former, a 5yo mare who ran well in the equivalent race 12 months ago when close up in fifth.
Conversely, the 4yo gelding Kuchisabishii, was beaten a long way on his previous visit to Al Ain, albeit in handicap company as opposed to a maiden. That was also over this 2000m.
He is the mount of Jose Santiago with Xavier Ziani seeming preferring the chances of Alwareeth, a 3yo colt having just his second outing.

Both Nayefah and Waayjig represent Michael Costa carrying the silks of Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum with Jean Van Overmeire choosing the latter, the least experienced of the pair as a 5yo gelding having just his fifth start.
Meanwhile, Sam Hitchoctt partners Nayefah, a 4yo filly with nine previous runs to her name, the best of which was when finishing runner-up in the 2021 UAE Oaks, although beaten by more than six lengths, on her fourth start.

Another 3yo in the field, Shore Street, the mount of Pat Dobbs for Al Rashid Stables, is trained by Doug Watson so thus representing connections who have all enjoyed bright starts to the new campaign.