Mohammed Seeks Continuation of Meydan Form at Abu Dhabi

Wintergreen and Counterglow Run in Sole Thoroughbred Contest

The Thoroughbreds take centre stage at Abu Dhabi on Sunday, their only race, a 2200m handicap, being the most valuable on the card and the maximum field of 14 have been declared.

Trainer Ismail Mohammed opened his seasonal account with a double at Meydan on Thursday evening and saddles two, Wintergreen and Counterglow.

Stable jockey, Wayne Smith was suspended on Thursday but is back in action and elects to ride Wintergreen with Chris Hayes, who won on Mohammed’s Respect Me at Meydan, aboard seasonal debutant, Counterglow.

“Our runners tend to improve from their first run,” said Smith. “Wintergreen ran very well when third over this course and distance a fortnight ago. He should be spot on this week but does have a bit to find at the weights and could have been drawn better.

“Counterglow is a nice horse but might just need the outing.”

Counterglow shares top-weight with Moonlight Dash, one of three in the race for Satish Seemar. Apprentice Hector Crouch rides with stable jockey, Richard Mullen, aboard the trainer’s Maid Of The Glens.

The race in which Wintergreen was third was won by Blue Tiger’s Eye, nicely drawn here in two. Trained by Ahmad bin Harmash, he will again be ridden by stable jockey, Freddy Tylicki.

“He did it well the other day,” said Tyicki. “He was my first UAE winner and it would be nice to follow up on him."

The trainer also saddles Georgetown, under Xavier Ziani and the horse is likely to appreciate the return to turf after four moderate dirt outings over the course of the year.

The Ali Rashid Al Raihe-trained Mutual Force chased home Blue Tiger’s Eye two weeks ago, and is seeking a seventh win since joining Al Raihe for whom he has won in China, as well as at Meydan, Jebel Ali and here in Abu Dhabi back in 2011 over 1600m.

Stable jockey, Tadgh O’Shea, takes the ride and said: “He ran well last time and has been a great servant to the yard. Hopefully we can go close.”

Mizbah is another seeking a second victory of the season having won the very first race of the new campaign at Jebel Ali.

Pat Dobbs, fresh from a Meydan treble on Thursday rides for Doug Watson, who provided two of those winners. It will be only the horse’s second turf outing in the UAE and first since his local debut in February 2013.

“He won well at Jebel Ali in a race he also won last year,” said Watson. “We had a couple of options with him this weekend but we are keen to try him on the turf and this looked an ideal spot.”

The best of the Purebred Arabian action is a also a 2200m handicap with nine declared and the weights are headed by Reeh, owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan and trained by Nacer Samiri.

The trainer opened his UAE account last Sunday with an Abu Dhabi double and Reeh, the mount of Szczepan Mazur, also ran seven days ago so has race fitness on his side.

The main dangers look to be the pair trained by Eric Lemartinel for Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Stable jockey, Tadhg O’Shea, partners RB Rich Surprise with Wayne Smith coming in for the spare ride on Estourah.

The pair have only had nine starts between them and look open to any amount of improvement.