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Treble Jig Launches Defence Of Listed Jebel Ali Stakes Crown

Seeking Four Wins From Four Jebel Ali Starts

Friday`s six-race Jebel Ali card is undoubtedly the best of the season thus far with arguably four Thoroughbred races which would not gave been out of place on the first night of the 2013 Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan on Thursday.

The highlight is the Listed Jebel Ali Stakes, generously sponsored by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum through the Irish arm of his breeding operation, Derrinstown Stud and in which course specialist Treble Jig bids to become the first horse to win the race twice.

Trained by by Musabah Al Muhairi, he will face six rivals and is seeking to make it four wins from four course starts having made history when completing the Jebel Ali Stakes and Mile double last year and winning the prep race for today’s contest a fortnight ago.

Stable jockey Wayne Smith is aboard and clearly looking forward to it. “He is just a better horse at Jebel Ali where the dirt and that steep hill really suit him. When he hits the gradient he just powers on and hopefully he is the one they all have to beat.”

Jutland was third in that 1800m prep race two weeks ago and the extra 150m should be in his favour according to trainer Doug Watson. “This race has been his target and he stays well but Treble Jig is going to be hard to beat.”

Russian Rock, representing the same connections as Treble Jig and winner of the Listed Jebel Ali Sprint last term to complete an unprecedented Jebel Ali feature treble for them, takes his chance in a handicap over the same 1000m course and distance he achieved his big race win.

Only six have been declared but they include his old rivals Mujaazef and Kilt Rock, third in last year`s Jebel Ali Sprint. Smith again rides Russian Rock who had both those old adversaries in behind when winning over 1200m at the last Jebel Ali meeting two weeks ago and said: “Just like Treble Jig he saves his very best for Jebel Ali and he should go very close.”

Trained on the track by Dhrua Selvaratnam, for racecourse owner HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Sholaan makes his local debut in the same sprint and looks a nice new recruit who boasts strong form in the UK.

Another Selvaratnam-trained newcomer is Dormello, a dual Listed winner in France and who faces ten rivals in the 1600m prep race for the Jebel Ali Mile. The opposition is headed by Haatheq, trained Ali Rashid Al Raihe and to be ridden by Paul Hanagan.

Runner-up in last year`s Jebel Ali Mile (to Treble Jig) he chased home that same horse a fortnight ago over 1800m and Hanagan said: “The return to 1600m will suit him and it was a good run behind Treble Jig last time over a trip that really suits him but perhaps stretches my horse’s stamina.”

Al Muhairi and Smith also combine with a third course specialist, Youm Mutamiez, seeking a fourth course and distance victory in a 1400m handicap for which seven have been declared, including Alazeyab, Famous Warrior and Capital Attraction – all winners at the Dubai World Cup Carnival in recent years.