The Purebred Arabians take center stage at Abu Dhabi on Sunday with a Group 1, Group 3 and Listed races on the card.
Al Hosn Handicap – 6f
Trainer Ernst Oertel runs three horses in this all with a good chance. The best opportunity for him may come from AF Thobor. A course and distance winner and ran a good race last time appeared here. Preference is for the 5yo ES FATEK a course and distance winner who ran well last time out. Still off a handy mark.
Muroor Handicap – 1m
Only eight go to post in a very competitive looking handicap. Qader won twice over course and distance in 2016 and did show some good form last time out. Dhamin, in the same colours as Qader, has had a good season to date winning a 7f contest last time out. Has won over course and distance. TAHANY ran well last time out over course and distance and is a course and distance winner. Runs off a good mark so should go close. The dangers will come from the Oertel pair of AF AL Sajanjle and AF AL Jahed. Both course and distance winners and both are having good seasons to date. AF Maher another of the Oertel stable in with a chance but has been raised significantly in the weights.
Arabian Triple Crown R1 Listed – 1m
First of the feature races on the card. Not many for the shortlist. ASYYAD already a listed winner over course and distance. Ignore last run as did not appear to appreciate the step down to 7f. AF Motaghatres and Matab look likely to fight out the minor places.
HH The President Cup Group 1 – 1m3f
The feature race on the card with a number in with a shout. Last year’s winner Loraa goes again but has shown little of that form since. Mahbooba another with a Group 1 course and distance win to her name has the potential but lacks the consistency. If she has a going day will go close. Dahham an interesting recruit from France where he was a Group 1 winner. One for the shortlist. Shaheer continues to impress but again probably fighting out for a place. ABU ALABYAD is a Group 1 course and distance winner and had a good prep run last time out and therefore looks capable to take this.
Al Ruwais Group 3 – 6f
Small field of seven contest this Group 3 sprint which has traditionally been run over 5f. RB TORCH is the class horse in the race and if all goes his way should take this race. Already won a Group 2 over 7f this season. Main opposition should come from Cakouet De Bozoules who has continued to improve since arriving in the UAE. Munbaher is a bit of an unknown making his UAE debut but does come with some useful UK form.
Wathba Stallions Cup For Private Owners Only Handicap – 1m
This race will probably be between the two top rated horses. MH Tawag a fairly exposed 6 year old who has two course and distance wins to his name and run well on last two occasions. AF ASHEHAM, also a 6 year old, but only had three runs to date. Won his maiden first time up and two creditable runs since. The step up to a mile should not inconvenience. Ajaj and Noof KB, two recent maiden winners, look like they will be fighting for the minor places.
Al Danah Handicap – 1m
Despite a field of sixteen only a few look in with a chance in the only thoroughbred race on the card. TOBACO ran a good second last time out at Meydan in a competitive handicap. Still on a good mark and should not require much to take this contest. Tadween although still a maiden came second to a useful sort last time out. Unite The Clans has disappointed on his two runs to date in the UAE. However does have some useful bits of form in the UK and now back on the turf.
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