News

Strong line-up for Jebel Ali Sprint prep

Racing returns to Jebel Ali this weekend with Shadwell, the UK arm of the breeding operation of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, kindly sponsoring the Jebel Ali Sprint prep, the highlight of Friday`s six-race card.

Over the same 1000m course and distance as the Listed Jebel Ali Sprint, it has attracted a field of 15 including the 2010 Jebel Ali Sprint winner Terrific Challenge who also won this race the same year. Trained by Satish Seemar, the now 10-year-old has not won since but was third in the Sprint itself last year and an excellent second on his seasonal return in November.

Richard Mullen takes the ride and said: "We know he loves the course and distance and he always runs well up the hill. He is in good form at home but obviously is not getting younger. He should run another solid race."

Seemar`s charge was beaten less than a length in that November return by the Ali Rashid Al Raihe-trained Mujaazef who is again in opposition. Al Raihe`s five-year-old had race fitness on his side on that occasion and returns to the same course and distance for the first time since.

Owned by the sponsor, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan, he will be ridden by the owner`s retained jockey Richard Hills who said: "He has won over course and distance so that is not an issue but it does look a hot little race so we are hopeful perhaps rather than confident."

Seachantach, also trained by Seemar, was third in the same race with Russian Rock in fourth. He too is in opposition again for trainer Musabah Al Muhairi with stable jockey Wayne Smith in the saddle. The jockey said: "We have a bit to find but he is working well and can hopefully go close."

Forjatt, trained on the course by Dhruba Selvaratnam for the racecourse owner His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, won his only previous try at the 1000m minimum trip but that was on his racecourse debut (where) as a juvenile in 2010.

He ran well enough when placed third on his dirt debut over 1200m four weeks ago but was adrift of Kilt Rock on that occasion. Trained by Doug Watson for the enthusiastic Emirates Entertainment Racing Club syndicate, Kilt Rock was suffering his first defeat in five course visits this season and he will relish the drop back to 1000m.

Syndicate spokesperson Justin Byrne said: "He so nearly made it five last time and it was heart-breaking to be caught on the line but he showed an awful lot of speed and hopefully returning to 1000m will help."

Rock Jock, making his dirt debut and Star Crowned, a very useful sprinter in his day who has won over course and distance, look the others to consider.

The following 1400m handicap would be worthy of a place in the Dubai World Cup Carnival with South African trainer Mike De Kock set to saddle two of the 13 runners. Hunting Tower, the mount of Kevin Shea, has run at Jebel Ali once before but stable companion Casual Glance will be having his first start on dirt with Christophe Soumillon in the saddle.

The weights are headed by course winner Alazayeb and Five Cents who produced a career best effort when winning over course and distance a fortnight ago. Both are trained by Al Raihe.

Al Muhairi and Smith combine again with Youm Mutamiez who, along with Selvaratnam`s Toolain and dirt debutant Famous Warrior, trained by Watson, all merit consideration.