QUALITY over quantity at another Al Ain matinee fixture with the highlight, arguably, a 1400m handicap, one of the six races for Purebred Arabians and in which, for Sheikh Hamdan, Doug Watson saddles Foaad. A turf winner in France, he doubled his career tally with victory in an Al Ain handicap over 1800m in February and the gelded 6yo should certainly not be lacking for race fitness on what will be his fourth start of the campaign. Hard to predict, if on a going day he should be thereabouts off a handicap mark fully 8lb less than his winning one from February. However, the one to beat may well be Jayide Al Boraq, a winner over 1000m at the most recent fixture on this course and a 1600m debut winner here in March before his one disappointing effort in a handicap, again at Al Ain, over 1800m.
Assuming he is capable of producing his best form after a quick turnaround, remembering both wins have been on his seasonal debut, the 5yo looks an exciting prospect for Khalifa Al Neyadi and Al Rahmani Racing. Officially winless at the time, Magic Number did finish ‘first past the post’ in a course and distance maiden in March 2017 only for it to be discovered the now 6yo mare was actually a previous winner in the US and, thus, not eligible for the race. Her trainer, Abdallah Al Hammadi does well at Al Ain and has his team in good form. Bolereau led in the final strides to snatch a maiden over this track and trip three weeks ago for Abu Dhabi Racing and trainer Helal Al Alawi. The 4yo was second over the same trip on the turf at Abu Dhabi prior to that, his only other run this season, and is clearly in good heart.
The only Thoroughbred race is a 2000m maiden in which, with an official rating of 70, Rougher could be hard to beat for Watson and Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi. That said, the 4yo Lookin At Lucky gelding needs to prove his wellbeing having been off the track since February 2018. After a 1400m run as a juvenile, he was seen twice more as a 3yo, each time at Meydan and it remains to be seen whether he merits his handicap mark but it has to be significant such powerful connections have persevered with him and he has been gelded since last seen in public. The Thoroughbred maiden at the previous Al Ain fixture, over 1800m, was won by Watson’s Alda’lya, chased home by Antimo who produced a very promising effort on his second start this campaign. A 6yo Dubawi gelding, this will be just career start number seven and, considering he was running on last time, the extra 200m should suit and he must hold strong claims to provide trainer Ahmed Al Shemaili his first winner of the season.