Feature Story



Another course racing for the last time this season with a strong card highlighted by a Prestige contest, the 1700m HH The Ruler of Sharjah Cup, won last year by AF Maqam for Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda, Ernst Oertel and Tadhg O’Shea. It will be a big surprise if they are not at least involved at the business end of the race, restricted to 4&5yos foaled in the UAE.

As a 4yo filly, Fadiah Al Wathba receives a very healthy weight allowance and appears a big danger although remaining a maiden after four starts. Third on debut, staying on over 1200m on this track, her three subsequent outings have been on the Abu Dhabi turf, highlighted by a neck defeat on her penultimate outing in the 1600m Emirates Fillies Classic.

Prior to that she was also second in the 1400m Abu Dhabi Fillies Classic. The step up to 2200m and Group Three company proved too much for her last week and this looks a more suitable assignment. She is owned by Al Wathba Racing as is Hakaam, the 5yo being in the most capable hands of Jean de Roualle.

Well beaten in the 1900m Group 1 Al Maktoum Challenge R2 on his latest start, five weeks ago, he was runnerup over this 1700m prior to that in the GCC Cup, beaten just a neck. He was a close third to AF Maqam in this race 12 months ago. Splitting that pair in second was Yas Xmnsor, another almost guaranteed to run another big race.

Maimoon, ES Lattam and JAP Mehna are others to make some appeal in a fascinating renewal. The UAE’s original marathon (before Al Ain jumped on the bandwagon), a 2700m handicap, the Sharjah Marathon is normally very competitive and that would appear to be the case again. For Al Nabooda, Oertel was responsible for no less than nine of the original entries, declaring just one, top weight No And No Al Maury.

After two excellent seasons, Abdallah Al Hammadi has had a much quieter one but his Winked certainly needs considering as does Yas Racing’s Shamakh, to be saddled by Jean-Claude Pecout. Others that should not be dismissed out of hand include Salem Al Ketbi pair Kadar and Makhtar, Majdi (a stable companion of Winked) and Hakeem Al Izz.

The only Thoroughbred contest on the card appears a typically competitive affair for the track and not an easy one for Pick Six players to try and fathom. Rashed Bouresly had been the man to follow in such Sharjah races this season, with two winners, but his name was conspicuous by absence amongst the entries.

Celtic Striker is starting to look very well handicapped, he is trained by Doug Watson, as are Coast Sky and Obeyaan, another pair with claims. Sharing the burden of top weight, Dubai Vision and Trancaferro are both capable, as is Flame Talon.. Perfect Balance and East Coast Road are just another pair to add to what is becoming a rather long, ungainly, short list.


Race 1: Layali Al Wathba
Race 2: JAP Al Afreet
Race 3: Riyadh Al Wathba
Race 4: Kadar (Nap)
Race 5: Hakaam (NB)
Race 6: Obeyaan