The 2022-23 racing season draws to an end with the final meeting at Al Ain on Friday.
With the championship titles for the UAE trainer, jockey, and owner already decided, the highlight of the seven-race card is the Al Ain Cup, a 2,000-metre Prestige contest in which RB Frynchh Dude will try to defend the title he won last year.
Doug Watson, with 39 victories, leads the trainer’s championship race by two winners over Bhupat Seemar, and with the two of them contesting for the solitary thoroughbred prize, it gives the American an unassailable lead to seal his eighth trainer’s crown.
Tadhg O’Shea, on 60 winners, and his main patron Khalid Khalifa Al Naboodah, 34, share the jockey and owner’s titles, respectively.
For the Irishman, it is his 11th jockey’s title and sixth in a row while the Emirati owner-breeder bags his fourth championship title.
On the track, RB Frynchh Dude is bidding for his second successive prize in the feature race of the card. He won the inaugural running of the Al Ain Cup when trained by Helal Al Alawi for Byerley Racing, and now the seven year old is in the care of Abubakar Daud, having his first start for his new trainer.
It has also been a memorable first season for the first Sudanese female trainer Nisren Mahgoub. She saddles Snan and Sharkh in the Al Ain Cup. A case could be made for both with slight preference perhaps for Snan, the mount of Oscar Chavez.
Stable companion Sharkh, the mount of Francois Herholdt, won his maiden at Al Ain, over 1,800m, in November 2020 and generally runs well, although only seen twice in public this season.
The chestnut son of Mamun Monlau won a conditions contest on the track and trip in January. He has been tested in three better races and should appreciate the drop in class to look a big danger to all.
Hamad Al Marar is another new trainer enjoying a fine first campaign and his Suny Du Loup looks to hold leading claims with apprentice Marcelino Rodrigues taking a valuable 3 kgs off his back.