Fascinating Thoroughbred finale well worth the wait at Abu Dhabi on Thursday

Six races in Abu Dhabi on Thursday evening, just the one for Thoroughbreds, the concluding 1400m handicap which has attracted the maximum field allowed of 14, the weights headed by El Patriota.

Trained by Antonio Cintra, the 5yo gelding arrived in the UAE having won three times, from just four starts, in his native South America, twice in Listed company.

He then, as a 3yo, made a winning local debut at the end of January 2021 in the Al Bastakiya Trial over 1900m on the Meydan Racecourse dirt track but has failed to add to that success in 11 subsequent outings.
He was, however, beaten just a head, on his penultimate start, in a 1600m turf handicap, also at Meydan Racecourse. He has already run well at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club, including finishing runner-up in the Listed Abu Dhabi Championship at the end of March last year. That was over 2200m though and he has never run over a trip this short.

At the other end of the scale, receiving weight from his 13 rivals, is Silent Defense, a course and distance winner for Rashed Bouresly on his most recent outing, just a week ago. That was his maiden success, at the fourth attempt, on his first visit to the capital and just second turf outing.

Oscar Chazez, aboard last week, switches to Bouresly’s second runner, Abshrek, also seeking a second consecutive success. He and Chavez landed a 1600m turf handicap at Meydan Racecourse when last seen in public, almost three weeks ago.
Unraced before this season, this will just be his sixth career start and he is seeking a third success and on turf, from just four attempts, after two fruitless outings on dirt at the beginning of the campaign.

Runner-up to Abshrek was Perfect Love, a second runner in the field for Cintra and seeking a first local success at the tenth attempt. Thrice a South American winner, he has been running consistently well though and is the choice of Jose da Silva.

Doug Watson appears to hold a strong hand with three runners, Pat Dobbs seemingly opting to partner Jumaira Bay, a course and distance winner on his second UAE outing, almost exactly a year ago.
Sam Hitchcott rides stable companion Mcmanaman, who will have to overcome a wide draw in 13, with Richard Mullen aboard Watson’s third runner, Flamingo Girl.

Tadhg O’Shea appears a very noteworthy jockey by Ismail Mohammed for Nibras Passion who looked an exciting prospect when, as a 3yo, scoring an impressive maiden victory against his elders over this track and trip.
That was in January 2021 and he has not won since but he has been running well in defeat, finishing second, fourth and third in his three 2023 outings.

From a trio of Shadwell runners, the owner’s retained jockey, Dane O’Neill has, interestingly, chosen local debutant Laasudood, twice a winner in Britain, once for Sir Michael Stoute and more recently for Richard Hannon.
This initial UAE appearance will be just his seventh racecourse start and first for Bhupat Seemar, as well as since being gelded. He looks an interesting new recruit.

O’Neill could also have partnered the same owner’s Almoreb or Morghom, the mounts of Antonio Fresu and Bernardo Pinheiro respectively. Both are to be saddled by Musabbeh Al Mheiri.

On his best form, Mailshot would hold major claims but he has shown very little since making a winning seasonal return, in a 1600m conditions contest on this course, in November 2021. Royston Ffrench rides for Salem bin Ghadayer.