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Mujaazef Bids To Make It Two For Two In Jebel Ali Conditions Race

Mujaazef will face 14 rivals as he bids to win the featured 1,000m conditions race for the second year running at Jebel Ali on Friday.

Owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, whose Shadwell breeding organisation sponsor three of the six races in various guises, including this one, Mujaazef won four times at Jebel Ali last season and the owner’s retained jockey Dane O’Neill sounds hopeful.

“He ran well over 1,400m two weeks ago in a race he also won last year and he showed plenty of speed so the return to 1,000m should suit. He has a penalty to carry but I expect a big run,” said the jockey.

Also penalised is Russian Rock, fourth in this race last year and subsequent winner of the Listed Jebel Ali Sprint over the same course and distance. He is trained by Musabah Al Muhairi, as are the Sheikh Hamdan-owned pair, Fityaan who twice chased Russian Rock home last year, with Kanaf a third runner for the yard and owner.

Wayne Smith, Al Muhairi and owner Fathi Esaed Mohd Egziama made Jebel Ali history last season when combining to win the Sprint with Russian Rock, as well as both the Jebel Ali Stakes and Mile with Treble Jig. Russian Rock ran well for a long way at Meydan on his return and Smith explained: “We thought he would need that run three weeks ago and he did tire. These are his optimum conditions at Jebel Ali and our horses are in great form compared to this time last year.

“The penalty makes life tougher but he should go close.”

Champion Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe is also triply represented. Mujaazef is joined in the field by recent course winner Hajoum and the very speedy Happy Dubai, the mount of Harry Bentley. A winner on turf, Tapeta and on the Jebel Ali dirt, Happy Dubai looks a big danger to all.

“I am really looking forward to riding him in a race,” said Bentley. “His last run was in the Group 1 Golden Shaheen on Dubai World Cup night and he has a touch of class. He seems in good form and should be thereabouts.”

Kilt Rock carries the silks of the Emirates Entertainment Racing Club (EERC) syndicate in the same race. He won his first four course starts last season and finished the season with an excellent third in the Jebel Ali Sprint.

He is trained by Doug Watson and EERC spokesman, Justin Byrne said: “He goes well fresh and loves it at Jebel Ali. His work has been good and we are very excited about him this season with the Jebel Ali Sprint the long term target again.”

Abu Dhabi specialist Jaasoos makes his seasonal return for Dhruba Selvaratnam whose second runner, Alo Pura, looks to hold stronger claims this time. She will be ridden by James Doyle, as will Forjatt in the best of the handicaps, a 1,400m contest, which has attracted a small but select field of seven.

Selvaratnam said: “Alo Pura ran very well at Meydan and is a course and distance winner. She is eight now but retains both ability and speed. She will need to be at her best though as it is a good race.

“Forjatt was the horse I nominated as one to follow pre-season so it will be nice to get him on the track for the first time this season. I am hoping he has a good campaign but he should improve for this run.”