December 4, 2013, Dubai ~Meydan Racing December 5. Local trainer, Majed Al Jahouri has yet to saddle a winner this season but looks set to have a big weekend with leading chances in both Thursday’s Mazrat Al Ruwayah Prep Sponsored by Expo 2020, the most valuable race on Meydan’s third card of the season, as well as Sunday’s Group 1 National Day Cup. Training mostly Purebred Arabians, the handler won both these races last year and it would be no surprise were he to repeat the feat. He saddles four in the 1600m Meydan feature with Dariya, who was chased home last term by Thakif, bidding to go one better this year under Harry Bentley.
“We have been very patient this season and started their training regimes later than before so it has not been a surprise our runners have needed a run,” said Al Jahouri.
“This is an important weekend though and we have to be hoping for a good few days. Thakif needed his comeback run and we know these conditions suit. The penalty makes things more difficult but he is fit and well.
“Duzar also has improved from his return, whereas the other two are having their first starts this season but are as fit and well as we can get them without a run. I am looking forward to running them and to Abu Dhabi on Sunday.”
Najm Alemarat, representing the formidable Ernst Oertel and Tadhg O’Shea combination, is another with a penalty and is respected in a fascinating clash.
Two US bred runners are in the mix, TM Super Bird, trained by O Daraj and owned by Faisal A Hammad, and Athbah Stud’s Bigg N Rich, trained by Eric Lemartinel.
Full Race Card: [gview file=”http://www.horsereporter.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Dec-05Race_Card_Meydan-Racecourse_Thursday_05_December_2013.pdf” save=”1″]
All six races are named in honour of Dubai’s successful Expo 2020 bid and the best of the Thoroughbred action is saved to the end of the evening with the two concluding handicaps attracting quality fields.
Racing concludes with a 1900m handicap in which Antinori attempts to continue the great run of trainer, Satish Seemar. A course and distance winner a fortnight ago, he beat the Abdulla bin Huzaim-trained Representation on that occasion and there should be little between the re-opposing duo here.
Sharaayeen, off the track since March 2012, looks a big danger for trainer, Ali Rashid Al Raihe if he is anywhere near his best after such a long absence.
The preceding 1400m handicap looks wide open and Dhruba Selvaratnam saddles two of the 12 declared runners. Dahteer, the mount of apprentice, Thomas Brown, is making his seasonal return but stable companion Canwinn has the benefit of a run. James Doyle rides, as he did when the pair were an excellent second to Haatheq a fortnight ago.
“That was a good run,” said Doyle. “He should cope with the drop to 1400m and we expect a big effort in a competitive heat.”
Wayne Smith rides Comicality, winner of his only career start in a course and distance maiden, for his main employer, Musabah Al Muhairi. Smith said: “He had been working well before that win so we were not totally surprised. He can hopefully build on that but this is obviously much tougher.”
Maath Gool, trained by Doug Watson, is another to have won his only start of the season thus far and runs here instead of Sunday’s National Day Cup at Abu Dhabi.
Photo: Areem claims R1 of the Al Maktoum Challenge under Emirati jockey, Ahmed Ajtebi during the Dubai World Cup Carnival
Photo credit: Dubai Racing Club//Andrew Watkins