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O`Shea Imagines Madjanthat The Pick

The force is with Al Raihe`s Thoroughbreds

MADJANTHAT offers in form rider Tadhg O`Shea a considerable chance to add to his tally of wins in the Mezied Handicap (2000m), richest race on the card, at Al Ain Racecourse on Saturday.

The Irishman, currently leading the riding table and who did his chances of securing a fifth UAE Jockey`s Championship no harm with a winning treble on the opening night of the Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan on Thursday and a solo at Jebel Ali on Friday, will renew his partnership with the Eric Lemartinel-trained Purebred Arabian.

O`Shea was aboard when the six-year-old scored over 1800m at the same course in the middle of last month.

At his next start Madjanthat appeared to find the 2600 metres of the opening round of the Al Ain Marathon series too far.

“I had to stick with him as he goes so well at Al Ain and I won here on him two starts ago,” said O’Shea. “He can be a bit quirky but there is no doubting he has ability.
“He worked very well earlier in the week and hopefully has a massive chance.”

Madjanthat had stable companion Najm Alemarat back in second that day and may again find that horse the hardest to beat.

The seven-year-old, to be ridden by Gerald Avranche, is better off at the weights this time.

“He should run well,” said Avranche. “He has had a four week break and is nicely freshened up. Madjanthat will be hard to beat but hopefully both ours will run well.”

Abu Dhabi`s Al Wathba Stables-trainer Nacer Samiri holds a strong hand numerically with four to saddle for the race.

The first-season handler prepared Thakif, ridden Pat Dobbs, to win the Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 on Thursday and has booked the Dubai-based jockey again for Ghalib.

The eight-year-old has won on the Al Ain dirt over 1600 metres, but despite four placings from six attempts is yet to win at the longer journey.

There is no string in better form than that of veteran Dubai trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

His Grandstand Stables provide four Thorougbred winners at Meydan on Thursday to kickstart their Carnival, three of them ridden by stable jockey O`Shea.

Remarkably those victories came in the only four races in which Al Raihe had runners, then to ice the cake he led in a double at Jebel Ali the following day.

The Meydan-based training operation has Qannaas and Mutual Force declared for the Al Basrah Handicap (1800m) the only Thoroughbred race on the card where 12 have been booked to face the starter.

O`Shea, who secured his first title in the 2009/2010 season, will ride Mutual Force who has three wins over the distance on his C.V. - though they were earned at Jebel Ali

“He should run well,” said O’Shea. “He is so versatile with regards to trip and surface conditions will not be an issue. “Ali also has Qannaas in the race and he could be the one we all have to beat.”

Leading owner, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum`s retained rider Paul Hanagan has been named to ride Qanaas.

The two-times winner is tackling 1800m for the first time and, if staying the trip, does appear to hold leading claims.

Qanaas opened his season when second behind Lanadam over 1400m at Jebel Ali last October and has that runner to deal with again.

The Dhruba Selvaratnam-trained six-year-old won impressively on his home track that day.

Two fourth places on the same circuit followed before a switch to Al Ain and a step up in trip to 1600 metres produced a good second, beaten just a half length, to Modern History at the tail of last month.

That consistent form allied with a drop in grade means Lanadam will have to contend with equal topweight when he attempts the extra 200 metres for the first time.