Issue 750

76 ISSUE 750 - THURSDAY 20 JANUARY 2022 AFTER A couple of low key meetings this year, big race action returns to the capital and its lauded turf course, highlighted by the 1200m Group 3 Al Ruwais with this year’s renewal appearing wide open. Homebred by the Omani Royal Cavalry, Arif appears a strong contender for Ibrahim Al Hadhrami over a trip he has only competed at once, a victory on dirt at Sharjah in February 2019. He is nothing if not versatile, regarding both trip and underfoot conditions and it would be no surprise to see him bounce back to winning ways, something he has not achieved since almost exactly a year ago when successful over 1000m on the dirt of Al Ain. That was actually a week later than the 9yo entire scored at the same venue over 1400m. The wonderful MH Rahal rarely misses a big race gig and stable star for Elise Jeanne, the 8yo entire will be having his sixth outing this season, seeking a third win during the campaign. Admittedly both victories have been registered in lesser company, something he rarely tackles, but he has not produced a poor performance all season and will surely run well again. The main concern with him would be that he is arguably better on dirt but this will be his first crack at a sprint distance on turf and ABU DHABI PREVIEW (MONDAY) Hameem MH Rahal Arif Hameem can bounce back and claim a repeat Gold Cup