UAE season concludes at Al Ain on Friday with all Purebred Arabian offering – well into the night

Friday evening’s race meeting at Al Ain is the very final one of the UAE season and highlighted by the Al Ain Cup, a 2000m Prestige condition contest in which, at least on official ratings, RB Frynch Dude looks the one to beat.

Trained locally by Helal Alalawi, the 6yo entire was last victorious in late January 2021 when landing the 1900m Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge R2 on the dirt at Meydan.

Each of his subsequent seven outings have all been in Group One company so he is taking a massive drop in class here. His stable companion, Fettah Du Loup, appears one of the main dangers should he fail to fire.

For Ibrahim Al Hadhrami, Champion Jockey Tadhg O’Shea rides Asif, the pair looking to enjoy further success having landed a 1600m Al Ain handicap on their penultimate start. On ratings though they have plenty to find with the Alalawi pair.

Goshawke is another Group One winner in the field of 12 having scored his career highlight victory in the 2200m Al Maktoum Challenge R2 at the end of January 2019. His only subsequent success was here at Al Ain, in a conditions race over 1800m, on his seasonal return in the middle of November.

He is trained for Al Ajban Stables by Abdallah Al Hammadi, as is Oxford, runner-up behind Asif on his penultimate start. He has since finished third in the Group 3 Al Ain Mile, won by AF Sanad, back in opposition again for Khalifa Al Neyadi who both owns and trains the admirable 9yo.

However, the main danger to the other 11 may turn out to be the progressive 5yo entire Nadelshiba. Trained by Rashed Ali Al Rayhi, he has won both his local starts, over this 2000m Al Ain course and distance and appears to be improving with experience.

Others to consider include MH Rahal, stable star for Elise Jeanne and normally campaigned in much better class than this. Age may be slowly catching up with him but the 8yo has won twice this season in similar races, over 1000m here in Al Ain and 1700m at Sharjah, the Emirates Breeders’ Trophy.

As is the case with AF Sanad, having been foaled in the UAE he receives weight from most of his rivals. Apprentice Marcelino Rodrigues claims a valuable 3kgs off his back meaning Jeanne’s stable star will be the bottom weight in a fascinating contest.

The first of seven races, all for Purebred Arabians, is at 7pm with the last at 10pm.