Serhaal Seeks Another Sharjah Victory

Hanagan`s Mount Looks Pick Of Thoroughbreds

Sharjah Racecourse stages its penultimate meeting of the season on Saturday afternoon with the best of the action appearing to be the opening 1200m handicap, the only Thoroughbred contest on the six race card.

The maximum field of 16 are set to face the starter and Serhaal, a 1000m course winner three weeks ago, looks the one to beat. Owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, he will be ridden by the owner`s retained jockey, Paul Hanagan and is trained by local champion, Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

Hanagan said: “I was not aboard when he won earlier this month but he needed every yard of the 1000m on that occasion so the extra 200m should suit.”

He was chased home on that occasion by the Dhruba Selvaratnam-trained Parvaaz who looked set to give apprentice Sam James his first UAE winner only to be caught in the dying strides. He looks a big danger again and Captain Rio (fourth), No Hubris (fifth), Nanni The Teaser (seventh) and Musleh (eighth) will all try and reverse form with Serhaal and Parvaaz.

The meeting concludes with a 1700m conditions race which is arguably the best of the Purebred Arabian action. Trainer Ernst Oertel is set to saddle three of the 13 runners with Champion Jockey, Tadhg O`Shea, who rides for owner, HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan when available, electing to partner Richlore from the trio.

O`Shea said: “She was just touched off here on her debut so we know the dirt surface is not an issue. She then ran well enough on turf at Abu Dhabi and hopefully she will run well.”

Five of the 13 runners are making their racecourse debuts with AF Al Fareed appealing most of two debutants trained by Gill Duffield and jockey bookings suggesting that Qutoof is best of the Tony Manuel runners.

Sharjah`s final meeting is on Saturday March 16.