SIMILAR TO LAST WEEK, it is tricky to identify a feature race in the capital but, again, the sole Thoroughbred race, this time a 2400m handicap, appears the best starting point, albeit certainly not the best such contest staged on the Abu Dhabi turf this season.

These Abu Dhabi Thoroughbred races are almost always fiercely contested so plenty hold chances, perhaps headed by Kanood for Fawzi Nass, both owner and trainer of the 6yo gelded son of Distorted Humor. Twice a winner on dirt at Meydan, he has only had two turf outings, also at Meydan, highlighted by finishing runner-up, over 1600m, in a handicap almost a year ago.

This extra distance could well suit as he appears a staying type and Nass’ team have been in good form. Heading into the racing weekend, Mohamed Ibrahim had saddled one winner, albeit a Purebred Arabian, from just six runners.

His representative, Adventurous, is already an Abu Dhabi winner having landed a 1400m handicap just over a year ago when trained by Ali Rashid Al Rayhi. This seasonal debut for a new yard looks like an experiment regarding trip because he has never been asked to race beyond 1600m previously.

You do not need an abacus to determine this is a big step up in trip. Sugar Boy is another previous winner in the capital having landed a 1600m handicap in early April 2019. He was actually eighth, beaten just two lengths, in the 1400m handicap Adventurous won, and a nose second over the same track and trip behind Irish Freedom in November 2020 is actually strong form.

All that said, however, he has appeared ‘badly out of sorts’ since those two efforts, over a variety of distances on a tour of UAE tracks and his trainer, Qaiss Aboud has not saddled a winner from 69 runners this season. Al Watan and Akwaan, for Bhupat Seemar and Erwan Charpy are two others to consider in a wide open heat.

The best of the Purebred Arabian action is a 1600m conditions race for mares in which local debutant Farasah would appear to hold strong claims in the colours of Naser Askar for Musabbeh Al Mheiri. Her most recent outing in the UK was in Group One company so this is a massive drop in class.

Of those with local form, Al Wathba Racing’s Heba Al Wathba looks a serious contender for Jean de Roaulle. A homebred 5yo, she has only had four starts, winning once, on debut, in the 1400m Abu Dhabi Fillies Classic in December 2020. Unraced on dirt, she has been at least competitive on all three subsequent Abu Dhabi outings and should be thereabouts again.

Selections

Race 1: Farasah
Race 2: ES Ajab (NB)
Race 3: SS Jalmod
Race 4: AF Muhem
Race 5: Dhaw Al Reef
Race 6: Al Watan (Nap)