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Penultimate meeting at Sharjah to take place on Saturday

The two most valuable races on Sharjah`s third meeting of the season on Saturday afternoon are the Thoroughbred handicaps, with the remainder of the seven race card dedicated to the Purebred Arabians.

The 2000m Thoroughbred handicap has attracted a field of 13 and looks wide open.

The weights are headed by Contretemps, trained by Erwan Charpy and the choice of stable jockey Willie Supple, leaving Pat Dobbs to partner stable companion Spring City, a course and distance winner last season. Charpy said: "Both act on the track which is always a concern at Sharjah and seem in good shape at home. It does look competitive though."

On his last start he chased home the Doug Watson-trained Gulf of Gold over course and distance and Watson`s charge seeks a third win of the season. Watson said: "The conditions suit and he is a horse we have always really liked. He will go well."

The Satish Seemar pair Skycruiser and Radegund Abbey are also course winners, while Zemario is just one more to consider.

The 1200m handicap is just as open with last week`s Meydan All-Weather winners Montmorency and Always Emirates both well treated on dirt if transferring their form to the dirt. Richard Mullen rides Montmorency and said: "He has a big chance if handling the surface which he worked well enough on at home."

Wayne Smith partners Always Emirates and said: "He is in great form and has form at Jebel Ali so hopefully will go on the Sharjah dirt."

Both like to race prominently and could dictate matters from the off with Sand Cat, winner of this last year, looking the most likely to benefit should the top two falter.

The concluding 1700m conditions race was set to feature a re-match between Tony Manuel`s Knife and Musabah Al Muhairi`s Bareq but sadly Manuel`s charge has been withdrawn.

That leaves Bareq, the mount of Smith and a course and distance winner, with a big chance and Smith said: "He deserves another win as he never runs a bad race. Hopefully it can be today."

Gill Duffield`s AS Muheeb looks the main danger.