Aberfeldy to reclaim Liwa Oasis?

The Group 1 Liwa Oasis is the feature event of the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club`s penultimate meeting of the season on Sunday. The 1400m contest for Purebred Arabians carries a purse of AED 250,000 with a strong field of 14 set to face the starter.

The Julio Peromingo-trained Aberfeldy who won the race last year will be defending her crown with Wayne Smith booked for the ride.

“She will be happier back on the Abu Dhabi turf having run on [the all-weather] at Meydan last year. Her first run of the season was a good one over 1600m but the 1400m is hopefully her optimum and we hope she goes well” Smith said.

Pat Cosgrave rides stable companion Theoretically who has yet to show his best form in the UAE but was a very useful performer in Europe.

The Gill Duffield-trained El Rigoletto was third to Aberfeldy in this race last year when ridden by Tadhg O’Shea, who switches to Quite A Show also owned by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Trained by Doug Watson, the six-year-old won twice on the course earlier in the season and was far from disgraced behind stable companion No Risk Al Maury at Meydan on his most recent start.

Second on that occasion was Duffield’s AF Alghabra who has been a great servant to the trainer and her enthusiastic owner/breeder Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda who also owns Aberfeldy. AF Alghabra has won eight of her fifteen starts and looks certain to run well again.

In form jockey Kieren Fallon rides the Philippe Barbe-handled Salaamah who will be having only her second start locally and was well behind AF Alghabra and Quite A Show in her UAE debut.

Musharab, one of three in Sunday’s race prepared by trainer Majed Al Jahouri, was fourth in the same race with stable companion Saher sixth. The former looks best of his trio made up with Jarnin. All three, along with Salaamah, are owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The main support race is the concluding round of the Arabian Triple Crown, a Group 3 contest over 2400m.

Daffagh Al Asayl was the comfortable winner of the middle round over 2200m and looks the one to beat, although he is penalised for that win and could find Al Jahouri’s Rakha a big danger under Wayne Smith.

The only Thoroughbred race on the card is the concluding 1600m handicap and Dubai World Cup Carnival winners Tertio Bloom from Sweden and the UAE`s Iguaza Falls, who also won this race last year, clash in a wide open contest.

Tertio Bloom, prepared by Fabricio Borges, dead-heated in a 1400m all-weather handicap at Meydan on his most recent start and the trainer said: “That was a great moment for Sweden, a winner on such an international stage. He ran well here at Abu Dhabi first time and hopefully he can run a big race.”

Xavier Ziani rides Iguaza Falls for Emirati trainer Mubarak bin Shafya and is seeking a fourth win on the horse, while Jebel Ali-based trainer Dhruba Selvaratnam was in treble winning form at his home track on Friday and his Dahteer certainly should not be ruled out.

That also applies to Tamaathul, Marching Time and the Satish Seemar-conditioned pair of Kaiss and Montmorency.