Purebred Arabians Take To The Track For The Mazrat Al Ruwayah Preparation Race At Meydan

Mazrat Al Ruwayah Champion AF Alghabra To Renew Rivalry With 2011 Prep Race Winner, Kandar Du Falgas

The Purebred Arabians take centre stage at Meydan on Thursday evening with the 1,600m prep race for the Group 2 Mazrat Al Ruwayah which is to be held later this month.

Fourteen have been declared for the prep race, which is the first on an Al Basti Equiworld-sponsored card.

Chief among the combatants is Kandar Du Falgas who won this last year but has a penalty this time around. He is trained by Doug Watson who said: “I am a little worried about the weight but this prep has been the plan all along on the way to the Mazrat Al Ruwayah itself and then probably Maktoum Challenge Round I. He ran very well at Abu Dhabi first time this season and has done everything we have asked of him at home.

“He is ten now but has been great for us over the years and retains his enthusiasm and ability which is great.”

Watson`s charge was second in the Mazrat Al Ruwayah last season behind the Gill Duffield-trained Af Alghabra who is making her seasonal reappearance and receives weight from all her rivals with Tadhg O`Shea in the saddle.

“She is a real favourite, not only in our yard but with the racing public,” said Duffield. “This race has been the plan for her return to action and we are looking forward to getting her back on the track.”

Ernst Oertel has made a flying start to the season and saddles Frynchman but the Eric Lemartinel-trained Albar Lotois looks a bigger danger along with Dariya, one of five in the race owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Another Watson stalwart has been Barbecue Eddie who has won five times on the Meydan Tapeta and will face eight rivals in a 1,600m conditions race. He too has a penalty as a result of his course and distance victory of four weeks ago when the re-opposing Haatheq and Canwinn were third and fourth respectively.

“He is another horse who has done us proud and he showed last time he stays 1,600m well. He has a nice draw again and came out of that race in great form. Obviously the penalty makes it tough but he should run his usual solid race,” explained Watson.

Trained by Dhruba Selvaratnam, Canwinn won this same race last year from Tamaathul, one of three in the race for Champion Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe who also prepares Haatheq. However, it is the trainer`s third runner, Rutland Boy, who looks particularly interesting for Pick Six players. He is stepped up in class having won his final three starts last season.

Harry Bentley rides and said: “He was very progressive last year and can hopefully continue to improve. This is a big test for him but we think he merits this step up in class.”

Racing concludes with a 2,000m conditions race and Al Raihe again saddles three with course and distance winners Rochdale and Zain Shamardal sure to give a good account of themselves but it is another Watson runner under a penalty, Jutland, who looks the one to beat after a good win at Jebel Ali three weeks ago.

“His target is the Jebel Ali Stakes, via the prep race so we needed to find a race for him in the interim and this looked ideal,” said the trainer. “He has run well both times we have tried him on Tapeta and is working nicely.”

The first race goes to post at 6.45pm and gates open at 5pm. For more information email or call +971 4327 2110