Treble Jig Bids For Group 3 Glory At Jebel Ali

Once again Treble Jig will be the centre of attention at his beloved Jebel Ali on Friday afternoon when bidding to repeat his victory of 2012 in the Jebel Ali Mile, upgraded this year to become the first Group 3 contest staged at the after 21 years of racing there.

Trained by Musabah Al Muhairi, Treble Jig defended his Jebel Ali Stakes crown a fortnight ago and is the only horse to have won that race twice and is already the only horse to have won both the Mile and the Stakes.
Unbeaten in four starts, he looks certain to be a strong Pick Six favourite and his regular pilot, stable jockey Wayne Smith, explained: “He is a class act at Jebel Ali where he is just a far better horse than anywhere else. He loves the dirt surface and that steep hill finish really suits him.

“It will be disappointing if he does not at least go very close.”

No horse has successfully defended their Jebel Ali Mile crown, though Conflict won it in 2001 and again in 2004 for two different trainers.

He faces seven rivals, including stable companion Atlantic Brave, third in the race last year and second to another Al Muhairi trainee Snaafy in 2011.

The Dh575,000 1600m contest is generously sponsored by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Shadwell Farm, the American arm of his breeding empire and the sponsor relies on Haatheq, second to Treble Jig last year. Trained by Ali Rashid Al Raihe, he won the prep race over course and distance a fortnight ago having been outstayed by old rival Treble Jig over 1800m two weeks previously.

Capital Attraction was also a winner here two weeks ago before following up at the Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan last week. Champion Jockey Tadhg O’Shea takes the ride for trainer Ernst Oertel and the jockey said: “He is certainly in great form and improving but this is obviously a much stiffer test and Treble Jig very much looks the one to beat.”

Dormello, trained on the track by Dhruba Selvaratnam for racecourse owner Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is having only his second local start after a promising fifth to Haatheq at the previous meeting.
“He will have needed that run,” said Selvaratnam. “Treble Jig is going to be hard to beat but it is a great day for all of us involved with Jebel Ali to have this race raised to Group 3 level.”

The Selvaratnam-trained United Color looks a big danger to all in the main support race, a 1400m conditions event. A Group 3 winner in Italy, he too has had just one start in the UAE when failing by the narrowest of margins to overhaul 2011 Jebel Ali Sprint winner Russian Rock in a similar race over 1200m.

Al Muhairi trains Russian Rock and looks to supply two of the main dangers again with Smith aboard Youm Mutamiez and Pat Dobbs set to partner stable companion Straight Talk.

South African Mike De Kock provides the international challenge in the race and saddles Royal Ridge with Paul Hanagan in the saddle for the jockey’s main employer and the race sponsor, Sheikh Hamdan.