MH Areeb Could Land Second Win for Trainer, Elise Jeanne at Sharjah

Faces Oertel`s Course and Distance Winner, Laaheq

The most valuable race at Sharjah’s third meeting of the season on Saturday is a 2000m handicap in which the Elise Jeanne-trained MH Areeb heads the weights under Harry Bentley.

It was on this day last year that the same horse provided the trainer with her, to date, only UAE winner. That was in a 1700m handicap but, assuming his stamina holds out, he can go well with the advantage of a run under his belt last week at Abu Dhabi.

“At least he is proven on the track,” said Qatar’s Champion Jockey, Bentley, who rode a double in Doha on Thursday. “It looks a decent little race but hopefully he will be at least competitive.”

Anything Majed Al Jahouri saddles in these races has to be taken seriously and local apprentice, Saeed Al Mazrouei, takes 3kgs off the back of the trainer’s Laahaq. A previous course winner, over 2700m, stamina is clearly not going to be an issue and he should appreciate the return to this surface having been well beaten on the Abu Dhabi turf last Sunday.

However, the one they all have to beat would appear to be the unbeaten Bedayer Al Asayl, winner of both her career starts to date for Champion Trainer, Ernst Oertel, and Champion Jockey, Tadhg O’Shea.

She won over course and distance two weeks ago, denying Fantastique MHF who advertised the form by winning here at Sharjah last week.

“She has done nothing wrong so far,” said O’Shea. “She showed signs of inexperience when winning two weeks ago so hopefully there is more to come.

“That form looks strong after the win of the runner-up last week so we have to be very hopeful she can improve again and go very close.”

Oertel and O’Shea also combine with AL Yawazi who appears to hold leading claims in the concluding 1700m conditions race in which she faces 11 rivals. Winner of a course and distance maiden last December, she has been off the track since chasing home stable companion Fatat Al Arab 11 months ago.

Reverting to dirt should be to her advantage and she looks sure to run a big race. O’Shea said: “She looks another decent chance for us. The horses are running well and the yard normally have them fit enough to do themselves justice first time out.”

Jaber Bittar has three in the race and appears to supply the main opposition with Bayan, the mount of Richard Mullen and Farooq, to be ridden by Dane O’Neill, looking best of his trio. Preference would be for the latter, a maiden winner under these conditions just over a year ago.

The only Thoroughbred race on the card is a 1200m maiden and Athman, representing Satish Seemar and Richard Mullen, has to be feared on his seasonal bow. Stable apprentice, Marc Monaghan, rides stablemate and local debutant Timeless War who could prove a big danger, along with Mr Churchill.

Wayne Smith rides the last named for his main employer, Ismail Mohammed.