Having highlighted the value of Sharjah form at more prestigious venues last week, Mystique Moon, victorious here last year, won the featured 1400m handicap at Jebel Ali on Friday, advertising his Dubai World Cup Carnival claims. . Fresh from recent victories in the UK at Group One courses York and Newmarket as an owner with Hafeet Alain, Mohd Ramadan will be hoping new recruit Franz Schubert can scale similar heights under his stewardship. Purchased from the Godolphin Sale in September for just Dh35,000, the 5yo Dansili gelding was previously campaigned in Europe by Andre Fabre, winning on debut over 1800m at Chantilly in October 2016 as a juvenile.
He returned the following year to finish a close third, then narrow second in Group Three and Listed contests respectively before his form dipped. He was sold without having added to that maiden success and is returning after almost a year off for his dirt debut. A year earlier, at the 2018 September Godolphin Sale, Golden Goal was acquired for Dh210,000 but has clearly not been the most straightforward as this will be his local bow and first start for Doug Watson. Also a 5yo gelding, but a son of Dark Angel whose slate grey colour he appears to have inherited, he was previously in the care of Saeed bin Suroor, landing half of his six racecourse appearances, all on all-weather surfaces having been well beaten on one turf attempt.
He finished his Godolphin stint when sixth over 1400m at Chelmsford almost exactly a year earlier than Franz Schubert’s most recent outing. Watson has started the season in good enough form and it would be no surprise to see him go close in a race the trainer made just one entry on Monday. For Sheikh Hamdan, Erwan Charpy and Dane O’Neill combine with top weight Moqarrar who will attempt to concede weight to his seven rivals which include Zaajer, to be saddled by Ali Rashid Al Rayhi for Mohd Khalifa Al Basti.
The five Purebred Arabian contests are seemingly highlighted by a 2000m handicap, 300m further than the similar event won last week by Men Alemarat, owned and trained by Khalifa Al Neyadi. A course and distance winner clearly in good heart, the 7yo looks certain to give another good account of himself in a typically trappy Sharjah handicap. Jaci Wickham does not have the ammunition she deserves and saddles 8yo entire Murawih W’Rsan, a 1400m Al Ain maiden winner in March 2016, his sole career victory. He was an excellent second in a conditions race over this 2000m in December last year, a repeat of which would give him a live chance here although he may need this, his first outing since keeping on stoutly in the 2700m Sharjah maiden when last seen in February.
For Sheikh Khalifa, Eric Lemartinel saddles Highh Altitude and Jaahiz with Fabrice Veron seemingly electing to partner the latter. Champions Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda, Ernst Oertel and Tadhg O’Shea enjoyed a Sharjah double last week and combine with AF Abahe leaving Antonio Fresu to partner AF Al Montaqem for the same connections.