Competitive fields for Sharjah’s first racemeeting on Saturday

Al Basti Equiworld generously sponsor the first racemeeting at Sharjah on Saturday afternoon and have been rewarded with a competitive racecard.

There are two Thoroughbred handicaps at Sharjah`s first fixture of the season with the first of these, race four, over 2000m has attracted a field of 12.

There would be no more popular winner than Florentine Ruler, trained by Doug Watson for the afternoon`s sponsor Malih Al Basti.

The mount of Tadhg O`Shea, he has the advantage of a run already this season at Meydan and Watson said: "He will have come on for that first run and he ran very well at Sharjah last season. We are trying a visor and hope he can go well."

Erwan Charpy trains Natural Law who will appreciate this step up in trip after a pleasing return to action at Jebel Ali last week. Ted Durcan, who won on the horse in the UK, takes the ride.

Bawadi should certainly not be ruled out for Mubarak Bin Shafya and Pat Cosgrave after a good run at Abu Dhabi, while Bin Shamardal is another who ran well on his seasonal return. The mount of Wayne Smith, he is trained by Musabah Al Muhairi.

The other Thoroughbred handicap, over 1700m, is the penultimate race on the card and old rivals Gulf Of Gold and Shahin Shah clash again over the course and distance that the latter beat the former in November 2009.

Watson trains Gulf Of Gold who goes particularly well fresh and may be able to gain revenge on Shahin Shah, now trained by Ernst Oertel.

Cho Cho Fever and Dahes may be best of the rest in a race which probably will not take a lot of winning.

The best is saved to last with regards the Purebred Arabian action with a 1700m conditions race completing the card.

Only seven are set to go to post, with two of the original nine who were declared having been withdrawn, but it looks a quality race with course specialists Fantastique MHF, Knife and Estiqraar all in opposition.

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum owns three of the runners with his retained jockey Tadhg O`Shea electing to ride Fantastique MHF who has won on all four of his previous starts on the course.

Gill Duffield trains Estiqraar, a winner on his only previous visit to Sharjah, for the same owner and Royston Ffrench takes the mount.

His Sharjah victory was achieved at the expense of Knife, trained by Tony Manuel and a regular in this kind of race. It would be no surprise to see these three dominate proceedings.