Jebel Ali Treated To A Dead-Heat in Feature Race

Old Enemies Atlantic Brave and Escape Route Share Spoils

It always promised to be a cracker and the featured 1,400m Conditions race did not disappoint at Jebel Ali this evening (Friday) with Atlantic Brave and Escape Route providing a thrilling dead-heat.

The race, generously sponsored by Shadwell Farm, the American division of the breeding operation of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, attracted a quality line-up.

The Musabah Al Muhairi-trained Atlantic Brave, under Wayne Smith, looked likely to go one better than last year, when he was runner-up to Mujaazef who led until 200m out this time, but the pair were joined in the last strides by Satish Seemar`s Escape Route under Richard Mullen.

Smith said: “We were just beaten in this last year so we are getting closer! It was a great battle in the final 100m and fair play to both horses who have been involved in a few scraps together here over the years.

“When we crossed the line I was pretty certain I had not been beaten but was not sure if I was in front or level.”

Mullen added: “That was a great race and both horses have given everything. He is a bit of a character Escape Route so this effort is testament to all the hard work Satish Seemar and the team have put in with him.”

Escape Route`s trainer, Seemar, was completing a double having won the preceding 1,200m maiden with Ru`Oud with apprentice Marc Monaghan in the saddle.

“We like Ru`Oud and hope he could be a nice horse as he gets more experience,” said Seemar.

“Escape Route is a real favourite and a special horse in the yard so that was a pleasing outcome.”

Jockey James Doyle was also in double form, winning the opening 1,200m Purebred Arabian maiden on Bouthayna Al Reef for Jaber Bittar before repeating his victory of 12 months ago on Kessraa in the 1,400m handicap.

The latter is trained on the track by Dhruba Selvaratnam for course owner HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Doyle said: “I missed the first meeting here two weeks ago so it is nice to win my first race back and then get one for Dhruba and the boss. We have some nice horses and I am really looking forward to the season.”

Pat Dobbs made virtually every yard of the running on the impressive Jutland in the first of two 1,800m handicaps to the delight of trainer Doug Watson who said: “I am very pleased with both the horse and a great ride from Pat. We have high hopes of this horse both here at Jebel Ali perhaps in the Stakes and then at Meydan and the Dubai World Cup Carnival.”

Racing concluded with a second 1,800m handicap in which apprentice Saeed Al Mazrooei steered Mutual Force to a brave victory for Champion Trainer, Ali Rashid Al Raihe.