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Thoroughbred Feature Highlights Penultimate Abu Dhabi Card

The most valuable race at Sunday’s Abu Dhabi meeting, their penultimate fixture of the current season, is the only Thoroughbred contest on the card, a 1400m handicap which has attracted a full field of 14.

Trainer Satish Seemar is responsible for five of the field, with stable jockey Richard Mullen electing to ride Royal Revival, a course and distance winner in December and a good third, when running on strongly in a 1200m handicap on the turf at Meydan last time.

Stable apprentice Marc Monaghan partners stable companion Double Dealer who was not beaten far on his sole turf outing in the UAE to date, an 1800m handicap at Meydan.

The Seemar quintet are completed by Signs In The Sand (Tadhg O’Shea), Montmorency (Noel Garbutt) and Concordat (Xavier Ziani).

“You could make a case for all five of ours,” said Mullen. “Royal Revival has been in good form this season and the return to 1400m will suit him after a good run over shorter last time.

“Hopefully they will all run well.”

The Doug Watson yard has been firing in winners all season and stable jockey, Pat Dobbs rides Life Partner, having only his fourth start in the UAE and first on turf, a surface on which he won twice in England.

Sam Hitchcott is aboard stable companion Make It Reel who should appreciate the return to turf having failed to land a blow on the Meydan dirt last time.

HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum owns four of the runners and his retained jockeys, Paul Hanagan and Dane O’Neill, elect to ride Marmoom and Tanseeb respectively.

Both are trained by Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

Al Raihe’s Emirati apprentice, Saeed Al Mazrooei, has enjoyed a good few days with a winner at Al Ain on Thursday followed by a Jebel Ali double on Friday. He has picked up a nice ride for Ahmed bin Harmash aboard Grilletto, originally first reserve but granted a berth in the field after Desuetude was withdrawn.

The best of the Purebred Arabian action is arguably the 1600m handicap for which seven have been declared, including two trained by Salem Al Ketbi, another handler enjoying a fine run of form.

Of the pair, stable jockey, Tadhg O’Shea has chosen RB Torch, easy winner of two of his three starts and who found only stable companion, the very useful Abhaar, too good in the opening round of the Arabian Triple Crown.

That Listed event was over the same course and distance as Sunday’s race and he must have every chance of conceding weight to his seven rivals and it would not be a great surprise were his stable companion, Madjanthat, turn out to be his biggest danger.

The mount of Shane Karlsson, he has won half of his four starts and, like O’Shea’s mount, looks a nice prospect.

Should the Al Asayl pair fail to fire, Ameer Al Reef and Love To Dance, saddled by Jaber Bittar and Musabah Al Muhairi respectively, look the most likely to take advantage.

Next Sunday’s final meeting of the season in the capital is highlighted by the Group 1 Emirates Championship for Purebred Arabians and the Thoroughbred equivalent, the Group 3 Abu Dhabi Championship.

Both races are over 2200m.