Purebred Arabians Contest Group 2 Mazrat Al Ruwayah

Surfer Bids To Continue Winning Ways In Thoroughbred Conditions Race

AF Alghabra and Kandar Du Falgas are set to clash once again in the Group 2 Mazrat Al Ruwayah at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday (tomorrow).

Last year`s winner and runner-up make up a high-class Purebred Arabian field in Meydan`s first pattern race of the season, one of a quality six-race card sponsored by Al Tayer Motors.

Trained by Gill Duffield, AF Alghabra has been a real star for the stable and is seeking a ninth career win in the 1600m contest she won by almost two lengths 12 months ago under Tadhg O`Shea who is in the saddle again. The pair were third in the course and distance prep a fortnight ago.

“That was her first run of the season and she was entitled to need it,” explained the jockey. “She is seven now and improved from her first run to win this last year and hopefully she can go close this year but it looks a strong renewal.”

Her old rival Kandar Du Falgas was fifth in that prep race but is the choice of Paul Hanagan from two runners owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and trained by Doug Watson. The other, Quite A Show, is having his third start this season and has a Group 1 penalty to overcome.

“Both mine are working well enough but it looks a good race and that penalty makes it tricky for Quite A Show so Paul looks on our best hope. He was perhaps a bit disappointing in the prep but he was giving weight away and we have freshened him up. This has been the target and he owes us nothing having been great for the yard over the years.”

Trainer Majed Al Jahouri dominated that prep, saddling Dariya to win from stable companion Thakif with a further stablemate, Rakha in fourth. Ahmed Ajtebi rode the winner and maintains the partnership with Al Jahouri also saddling Naseem, while multiple Group 1 winner Sahib Du Clos, trained by Saifaldin Deeb, is another to carry a penalty.

There is plenty of exciting Thoroughbred action on the card as well with Surfer bidding to go one place better in a 1400m conditions race in which he was second last year. Richard Mullen takes the ride for his main employer, Satish Seemar and they arrive here having won a 1600m course maiden last time.

“He seems to have improved with that maiden win under his belt and this looks an ideal opportunity to get one more race into him before the Dubai World Cup Carnival,” said Mullen.

Entifaadha, having his first start for trainer Musabah Al Muhairi, could be the main danger but has to give weight to all his 11 rivals.

Ali Rashid Al Raihe`s 2010 Group 1 Dubai Duty Free winner Al Shemali heads the weights in a 2200m handicap in which the opposition are headed by stable companion Rochdale, the mount of stable jockey Royston Ffrench.

The 1200m course and distance record holder, Alo Pura faces seven rivals in a quality sprint handicap in which the Ernst Oertel-trained Ganas will seek a third course and distance win for the season. O`Shea said: “This is by far his toughest test yet – off a career high mark against better horses – but he deserves his place in this company and we will find out how good he is.”