Cassells Real Estate sponsor Sharjah feature

Sharjah`s third meeting of the season this Saturday afternoon features a very competitive 2000m handicap, generously sponsored by Cassells Real Estate and one of two Thoroughbred contests on the seven race card.

With a prize fund of AED65,000, the feature has, not surprisingly, attracted a maximum field of 16 with trainer Doug Watson particularly well represented with three runners.

These include course specialist Gulf Of Gold, the mount of Richard Hills and seeking a third course and distance victory and fourth at Sharjah having won here a fortnight ago over 1700m.

Watson also saddles Florentine Ruler, beaten a short-head over today`s course and distance a fortnight ago and UAE debutant Champagne Style who will also be having his first outing on dirt.

Watson said: "All three must have some kind of chance with conditions obviously ideal for Gulf Of Gold and Florentine Ruler also proven on the track he was only just beaten last time and both have come out of those races well.

Champagne Style has been going nicely at home and if he stays the trip and can produce what he is showing us at home he can run a nice race."

Florentine Ruler was denied last time in a thrilling finish by the re-opposing Bin Shamardal who will again be ridden by Wayne Smith for his main employer Musabah Al Muhairi.

Smith said: "He had to battle hard for that win and we were very pleased with him. It also showed he handles the dirt. He seems in good form since but this does look a stronger race."

Mubarak Bin Shafya trains Bawadi, who was third in the same race and should be competitive under Pat Cosgrave, while both Natural Law and Kiwi Moon have quite a bit to find having been well beaten on that occasion.

Erwan Charpy, the trainer of Natural Law, also saddles Cho Cho Fever who was a pleasing fourth in the race won by Gulf Of Gold on his seasonal return.

The mount of Ted Durcan, Charpy was pleased with that effort and said: "Hopefully he will have come on from that run and he has only had five races so hopefully there is some improvement to be had."

Gold Post, trained by Dhruba Selvaratnam, was just behind Cho Cho Fever in fifth and should not be dismissed in an open race.

The best of the Purebred Arabian action is also a 2000m handicap for which 11 have been declared.

Trainer Tony Manuel saddled a treble last week, including BH One who won a similar race over course and distance.

He bids to follow up that win under Harry Bentley.

Watson`s MH Wafi looks a big danger if handling the dirt but it could be that Swyft, trained by Ernst Oertel, is the main threat. He was a staying on second over 1700m last week suggesting this step up in trip will suit.