Quality action as racing returns in the capital

The Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club race for the first time this season on Thursday, a six race card officially highlighted by the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown Prep, over the same 2200m as the big race itself.

The capacity field of 14 have been declared with the lime green silks of Al Ajban Stables to be well represented with three runners, including Kerless Del Roc, beaten just a head in the Group 1 Kahayla Classic when last seen in late March.

Trained by Ahmed Al Mehairbi, the 5yo entire was actually making his first start for the owners on that occasion having previously raced for Al Rahmani Racing, winning four times, most notably the 1900m Group 2 Madjani Stakes.

For the same owners, Abdallah Al Hammadi saddles both the 8yo Goshawke and 5yo Hameem, the latter looking for a ninth career and eighth Abu Dhabi success having been defeated just twice on the capital’s turf course. He does have a small penalty though for his victory in the 1400m Group 2 Bani Yas.

Rajeh, trained by Musabbeh Al Mheiri, carries a stiffer penalty for his February victory in the 1900m Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge R2, on the dirt at Meydan. He won three times on turf in Europe, albeit back in the autumn of 2017.

Another with a penalty is Ashton Tourettes, to be saddled by Ibrahim Aseel and penalised for winning the 1200m Group 3 Al Ruwais here in the capital in January.

Jawal Al Reef and Dergham Athbah both hold claims while from three runners for Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda and Ernst Oertel, Tadhg O’Shea has elected to partner AF Al Bairaq.

The only Thoroughbred race on the card, the concluding 1600m handicap looks a good quality contest with the weights headed by the classy For The Top.

A 7yo gelded son of Equal Stripes, he won The Entisar, a 2000m Listed contest on the dirt at Meydan, last December on his second start for Musabbeh Al Mheiri.

The first turf opportunity for Thoroughbreds this season, it has unsurprisingly attracted the capacity field of 16 and, as the numbers would suggest, appears wide open.

Boerhan will be a first Abu Dhabi runner for Michael Costa, the new trainer at Jebel Ali Stables for Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and seeking to win this race for a second time having landed the prize in 2020 on his way to success in the Listed National Day Cup, over the same 1600m course and distance.

However, he only beat one of 13 rivals in this 12 months ago when it went to Mailshot who is back in action for trainer Salem bin Ghadayer, the trainer seeking his fourth success of the new campaign

Ali Albadwawi, the new master of Green Stables, saddles his very first runner in the shape of Taamol, course and distance winner of the Listed National Day Cup in December 2019 before following up in the 1400m Listed HH The President Cup two months later.

He is owned by Shadwell but passed over by retained jockey Dane O’Neill in favour of Turjomaan, trained by Doug Watson, seeking a seventh winner of the campaign and also to be represented by Jumaira Bay, the mount of Pat Dobbs.
These are his only two runners on the card.