Sprinters Prep For Jebel Ali`s Big 1000m Race

Russian Rock Seeks Fifth Win At Uphill Course

Friday’s Jebel Ali meeting is highlighted by the Jebel Ali Sprint Prep, over the same 1000m course and distance as the track’s final Listed race of the season in a fortnight. Course specialist Russian Rock won both races last season and looks the one to beat again for trainer Musabah Al Muhairi and stable jockey Wayne Smith.

The six-year-old is seeking a fifth course win and Smith said: “We all know he loves it at Jebel Ali and this race then the Sprint itself have always been the plan. He is in great form and should go very close although he is conceding weight to all his seven rivals but that is pretty much the norm for him after his big race win last season.”

Kilt Rock, trained by Doug Watson for the ever enthusiastic Emirates Entertainment Racing Club (EERC), is actually looking for a sixth Jebel Ali win but has finished behind Russian Rock on each of the five occasions they have clashed. He was a comfortable winner at the last meeting a fortnight ago over 1200m and EERC founder Justin Byrne sounds hopeful of reversing form with their nemesis.

“Kilt Rock’s only bad run was in this same race last year when he was slowly away and did not like the kickback. Hopefully he can break on terms and give Russian Rock a real battle.”

Derrinstown Stud, the Irish arm of the breeding empire of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, sponsor the race and the owner’s famous blue and white colours will be carried by Murbeh. Well beaten by Kilt Rock a fortnight ago on his belated return to action, he was entitled to have needed that first run since March and should run well for local Champion Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

Dhruba Selvaratnam trains on the track for racecourse owner HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and they combine with Sholaan who will be having his first start on dirt and is trying the minimum trip of 1000m for only the third time. He looked progressive in the UK and ran well on the Meydan turf on his local debut.

The most valuable of the handicaps is over 1400m and has attracted a select field of four with the Selvaratnam-trained Forjatt heading the weights as he tries to open his local account at the eighth attempt having won twice in the UK.

Swedish challenger Tertio Bloom was involved in a dead-heat at Meydan during the 2012 Dubai World Cup Carnival and looks a big danger.

Selvaratnam is also responsible for the top-weight in the concluding 1600m handicap in which his Swinging Sixties faces four rivals, including Kaiss who has been running well for trainer Satish Seemar and, like Selvaratnam’s charge, is proven on the surface.

The meeting opens with the only Purebred Arabian race on the card and 16 will face the starter in the 1800m conditions race in which Silvestre De Sousa partners the Ibrahim Al Hadhrami-trained AF Kamaash, seeking a third course victory under the Godolphin jockey this year.