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Jebel Ali Home Team Pins Hopes on Forjatt In Group 3 Mile Friday

Eleven Declared For Jebel Ali Showpiece Race

Jebel Ali racecourse trainer Dhruba Selvaratnam seeks a second winner of the UAE season this Friday when he saddles key contender, Forjatt in Friday’s Group 3 Jebel Ali Mile, and he would be a popular winner if he succeeds.

Trained on the track by Selvaratnam for racecourse patron, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, he is one of 11 declared for the biggest battle of the Jebel Ali season.

As the name suggests the race will be contested over 1600m and is the highlight of a six race card forming part of the ongoing 25th anniversary celebrations of Jebel Ali Racecourse.

Winner of the race in 2014, Forjatt was then first past the post in 2015 only to be disqualified subsequently having tested positive for a prohibited substance.

Forjatt returned in 2016 to finish second in the same race. He has had three outings so far this season, with two solid efforts at Abu Dhabi and a third in the prep for Friday’s race when he carried a penalty. The Jebel Ali Mile will be his fourth.

Stable jockey, Chris Hayes takes the ride and the pair look to have serious claims facing 11 rivals.

“He is in very good form and we could not be happier with his work,” said Selvaratnam. “Obviously he is a nine-year-old now and getting older but conditions clearly suit him and it would be a dream come true to win this race in such a special year for us all at Jebel Ali.”

Forjatt may not be penalised in the weights this time but the Mike de Kock-trained Saltarin Dubai, a Grade 1 winner in his native Argentina and the mount of Pat Cosgrave, is.

Seeking to become the first international winner of the Jebel Ali Mile, he was sixth on his debut for the South African trainer a fortnight ago at Meydan.

“Obviously he has a penalty which makes his task more difficult,” said De Kock. “We were pleased enough with his first run and he stays further so the stiff uphill finish should be in his favour.

“It is a valuable prize and looks a good race for him.”

With AED575,000 on offer it certainly is a valuable pot, thanks largely to the generous sponsorship of Shadwell, the UK arm of the breeding empire of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The sponsor’s own famous blue and white silks, carried to victory in this race last year by Sefri, will be sported on Friday by retained jockey Jim Crowley aboard Nolohay.

Trained by Musabbeh Al Mheiri, responsible for four of the last six winners of the race, he was fifth in the prep race on his seasonal debut, which was his only run of the campaign thus far and his first visit to Jebel Ai.

Al Mheiri also runs Art Wave, the mount of stable jockey, Fernando Jara and five times a winner at Jebel Ali but well beaten on his two previous attempts at 1600m up the stamina sapping hill.

Those runs were back in March 2014, he has certainly improved since.

Also doubly represented are Doug Watson and Ali Rashid Al Rayhi. The latter landed the prep with Good Trip but he ran at Meydan last week so the trainer relies on Trinity Force, the choice of Tadhg O’Shea and Beachy Head who will be ridden by Richard Mullen.

Pat Dobbs elects to ride Just A Penny for Watson, leaving Sam Hitchcott to partner Shamaal Nibras and both look to hold claims in a wide open contest.

The finale is a 1000m conditions race and last year’s Jebel Ali Sprint winner, Selvaratnam’s Morawij, heads the weights.

His ten opponents include Spin Cycle, victorious in that same Listed sprint in 2011 for Satish Seemar.