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Murawih, with the jockey Daragh O'Donohoe, on his way to victory at Nad Al Sheba earlier this month.
Murawih, with the jockey Daragh O'Donohoe, on his way to victory at Nad Al Sheba earlier this month.
Murawih, with the jockey Daragh O'Donohoe, on his way to victory at Nad Al Sheba earlier this month.

Murawih looks to strike again

The third meeting of the new season at Nad Al Sheba is a six-race card with a small equine turnout on a busy racing weekend.

The third meeting of the new season at Nad Al Sheba is a six-race card with a small equine turnout on a busy racing weekend. By far the biggest field of the night is for the opening Purebred Arabian handicap, over six furlongs, in which 15 have been declared.

These include Murawih, trained in Abu Dhabi by Eric Lemartinel and already a winner on the first night of the season. The Abu Dhabi trainers boast a 100 per cent record in these races at Nad Al Sheba this season - Rod Simpson's Time Out won last week - and with the Lemartinel string in fine fettle, that record can hopefully be maintained. Feature race honours are shared by two Dh110,000 handicaps - one over 12 furlongs and one over a mile (8f).

Champion trainer Doug Watson appears to have a strong hand in both as he saddles four of the seven runners in the longer race - headed by 2005 Dubai World Cup contestant Elmustanser. He will be ridden by stable jockey Fernando Jara and may have most to worry about from stable companions Lover Boy and Mutasallil. Watson may only have one runner in the mile race, which concludes proceedings, but his Roman's Run appears the class act in the seven runner race. He has to concede weight all round but has to go close under Jara.

Watson explains: "He [Roman's Run] has been pleasing us in his work and always ran well last year. We have to be hopeful of a big run on his seasonal reappearance but he will certainly benefit from the outing." Of his earlier runners, the American added: "We have to go close in the 12-furlong handicap with four runners but splitting them is certainly not easy. Hopefully we can win with one of them!"

It could be a big night for the trainer who saddles three of the seven runners in the 10-furlong handicap with first night winner Lucky Ray perhaps finding stable companion Fight his big danger. Musabah Al Muhairi saddled four winners last week and his Masquerader, who won on the first night, should go close to a repeat in the six-furlong handicap. Champion jockey Ted Durcan, on his return to the Emirates, takes the mount with stable jockey Wayne Smith suspended. Durcan said: "It is always nice to be back - Dubai has been an integral part of my career for a long time. Hopefully I can ride a winner or two early on."

Ebn Reem looks a big danger. sports@thenational.ae

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