Abu Dhabi stages its final meeting of the campaign on Saturday, a rearranged fixture that was postponed when originally scheduled at the beginning of March, highlighted by the 1400m Group 2 Liwa Oasis in which Wadeeaa would appear to hold leading claims.
Prepared by Mohamed Ali for His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the 5-year-old homebred mare was a first winner of the campaign for the trainer when victorious, on the Meydan dirt surface, in the 1600m Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 in January. She was also a first Group 1 winner for her trainer, as well as Polish jockey Szczepan Mazur, who has since doubled his top flight tally aboard BF Mughader in the Emirates Championship. Wadeeaa has only been seen in action once since that big race Meydan success, running on strongly when just denied in second contesting the 1200m Group 3 Al Ruwais, here in Abu Dhabi.
On that evidence, Saturday’s 1400m will suit and Mazur said: “Obviously she is a favourite of mine and, if you look at her form, has won all three outings over 1400m, so has a lot in her favour. We are drawn widest of all which is not ideal, but she is very good and, hopefully has the class to overcome that.”
Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda, Ernst Oertel and Tadhg O’Shea have carried all before them throughout the whole campaign, highlighted by the Group 1 Kahayla Classic success of AF Maher on the Dubai World Cup card last Saturday. They combine with local debutant Loshkar, a winner three times in Europe buy yet to race over a trip shorter than 1700m.
“He seems a nice new recruit and we like him a lot,” O’Shea said. “He has been working nicely, but we are going to learn a lot more about him on Saturday over a trip probably on the short side for him.”
Antonio Fresu will be sporting the silks of the EERC (Emirates Entertainment Racing Club) aboard Cheik.
Roque who will be saddled by Erwan Charpy. A 7-year-old, he has often run well in top company and Charpy said: “We had hoped to run him in the Kahayla Classic, but did not receive an invitation, so this is a last chance to run him this season and get him back on turf.”
The 4-year-old Classic crop contest the Group 3 Arabian Triple Crown R3 over the stamina sapping 2400m with 2200m second round winner, Harrab, looking likely to appreciate the extra 200m having lost his maiden tag on his local debut when staying on strongly in that race.
Another homebred for the Ali and Sheikh Mansour combination, he will, as he was three weeks ago, be partnered by Richard Mullen who said: “That was a very good performance to win last time and hopefully he has more to offer and the trip should suit.”
The opening round, over 1600m, was won emphatically by RB Lam Tara, but she seemed not to stay 2200m last time, but it is interesting trainer Eric Lemartinel runs her over this longer trip in different headgear. If removing the visor and adding a hood works, she looked very classy winning that first leg and could bounce back.
The UAE Arabian Derby, over 2200m here at Abu Dhabi, was won by Octave from Hakeemat Muscat, Eghel De Pine and AF Al Aassi and all four, who clash again, have claims with the extra 200m seemingly in their favour judged on that race.
If planning to attend, please note the first race time of 6:00 p.m., an hour later than the traditional 5:00 p.m. for race meetings staged in the Capital.