Racing returns to the capital on Monday with competitive offerings throughout the card

The Monday meeting at Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club is arguably highlighted by the finale and only Thoroughbred contest, a 1400m handicap, in which 12 are set to go to post, headed by Yurman.

The mount of Tadhg O’Shea, trained by Bhupat Seemar for Mohammed Khaleel Ahmed, the 4yo Asiatic Boy colt has finished runner-up on both starts for current connections having previously shown immense promise for Mike de Kock in the colours of Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum.

O’Shea said: “He has been running well and seems equally adept to dirt as turf so is versatile which always opens up options. He has top weight but is in great form and has been working well so we are hopeful of a big run.”

For Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Richard Mullen will partner Raakezz for Nicholas Bachalard. A winner on his racecourse debut at his ‘home track’ of Jebel Ali, the 5yo gelded son of Street Boss has not officially won since (but was subsequently disqualified after sharing in a dead-heat, also at Jebel Ali, in February 2020).

On his reappearance this season he was an excellent second over this Abu Dhabi 1400m course and distance in early November but has not been seen in public since.

Bachalard said: “We were delighted with his comeback run and he seems in good form at home. Hopefully he can run another big race on Monday.”

For Ismail Mohammed, Nibras Passion was a most impressive maiden winner over this 1400m course and distance in late January last year.

He then ran with credit twice at Meydan during the 2021 Dubai World Cup Carnival but, perhaps, was a bit disappointing on his seasonal return in a handicap, again over this 1400m track and trip, at the beginning of November. Ray Dawson takes the ride.

Al Madhar looks an interesting contender for Musabbeh Al Mheiri with Antonio Fresu taking the ride aboard the 5yo gelded son of Siyouni.

This will be just his third start for current connections and he was a very pleasing fourth on his latest outing, over this course and distance, in the middle of December.

Also to be saddled by Al Mheiri, Shajjy is the choice of Dane O’Neill from two Shadwell-owned runners. The other Shadwell runner, Erwan Charpy’s Al Salt, will be partnered by Sandro Paiva.

The best of the Purebred Arabian action is probably the 2200m handicap which kicks off the card and for which ten have been declared.

The weights are headed by Foah, the mount of Adrie de Vries for Liwa Stables and Abdelkhir Adam. The 5yo mare has only had eight starts, highlighted by a debut victory over 1400m here at Abu Dhabi when trained by Eric Lemartinel.

O’Shea partners AF Mahzamy for his main employer, Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda and Ernst Oertel. The 5yo entire has won two of his five starts and is held in some regard by connections so could well be the one to beat in this.

Al Ajban Stables and their trainer, Abdallah Al Hammadi, are enjoying a prolific campaign so their Kesra and Ozone Layer should certainly not be ruled out. Pat Cosgrave rides the latter suggesting he is considered their best chance.

In a fascinating contest, No Riesgo Al Maury, Gurm, Shamakh and Bassa’Am are others who appear to hold realistic claims.