Friday’s Racing at Meydan features a quality sprint and Madjani Stakes

Racing at Meydan on Friday, a seven race card, is officially highlighted by a 1200m handicap for which eight have been declared, the weights headed by the exciting Meshakel.

Trained by Salem bin Ghadayer, the 4yo Shamardal colt looked a talented prospect easily winning two of his five starts as a 3yo, over 1400m and 1600m, both at Meydan. He was also runner-up in the Group 3 UAE 2000 Guineas.

Sadly after his 1600m success, in early March 2021, he met with a setback and was not seen back in action for 610 days, reappearing in a 1400m Meydan handicap a fortnight ago. He finished sixth but showed plenty of early pace and should have benefited plenty for the outing. If he gets to the front under Royston Ffrench, the pair could be hard to peg back.

Musabbah Al Mheiri saddles both seasonal debutant Mutaraffa, to be ridden by Dane O’Neill, retained jockey for the gelding’s owner Shadwell and winner of January’s 1000m Listed Dubai Dash on the Meydan turf, and Vasari.

The latter, the mount of Antonio Fresu, has the benefit of a run already this season, finishing fourth in a handicap over this course and distance three weeks ago. He and Fresu won over this track and trip in the middle of November last year.

Tadhg O’Shea looks a significant jockey booking by Rashed Bouresly for Tabarak although he will need to bounce back from a tame seasonal return, over 1400m, at Jebel Ali just last Saturday. The 6yo did not win last season but finished in the first three in all but one of his eight starts during the campaign.

Bouresly may have stronger claims with El Baareq who beat three rivals in a 1200m Jebel Ali handicap on his second appearance of the campaign, three weeks ago. Richard Mullen maintains the partnership.

Doug Watson and Pat Dobbs combine with dirt debutant Wild Majesty, having just his second start for the American having made his first start for the trainer in the middle of February, failing to beat a rival in the 1000m Group 2 Blue Point Sprint.

He had run twice prior to that in turf sprints at the 2022 Dubai World Cup Carnival, representing France, when in the care of Henri-Francois Devin, making his local debut when not beaten far, but only ninth, in the 1000m Listed Dubai Dash won by Mutaraffa.

The Ahmad bin Harmash pair Will To Win and Roulston Scar complete the octet, Ray Dawson seemingly choosing the latter with Saif Al Balushi aboard the stablemate.

Defending champion Kerless Del Roc will seek to become the first dual winner of the Group 3 Madjani Stakes, a 1900m Purebred Arabian feature inaugurated in 2016. Ahmed Al Mehairbi’s stable star finished last season when narrowly denied in the 2000m Group 1 Kahayla Classic and he should strip fitter after a reappearance on the Abu Dhabi turf a fortnight ago.

Deryan won the Kahayla Classic in 2021 when trained by Didier Guillemein but was only seventh last year. He will be having his first start for Majed Al Jahoori. Pat Dobbs rides.

The Musabbeh Al Mheiri-trained Rajeh carries a penalty having won the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge R2 at the beginning of February but should still be competitive in what appears a competitive and quality renewal.