Serhaal looks to be the favourite in the 16-horse opening event at Sharjah Racecourse tomorrow, the only thoroughbred race at the meeting.
The five-year-old Ireland-bred gelding, owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, won on the Sharjah track three weeks ago, albeit at 1,000 metres, 200m shy of today's distance. Paul Hanagan will ride Serhaal for the trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe, the UAE Champion Trainer.
"I was not aboard when he won earlier this month, but he needed every yard on that occasion, so the extra 200 metres should suit," Hanagan said.
In that race, the Dhruba Selvaratnam-trained Parvaaz looked set to give the apprentice Sam James his first UAE winner only to be caught by Serhaal in the final run. Captain Rio, No Hubris, Nanni The Teaser and Musleh also ran.
The other five races today will feature Purebred Arabians, with the meet-concluding 1,700m conditions race perhaps the most competitive. Ernst Oertel, the trainer, has three horses in the race, with Tadgh O'Shea choosing to ride Richlore in the field of 13.
The meeting is the penultimate of the season at the Sharjah track. The final day of competition is March 16.
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