Treble Jig Ends Jebel Ali Season On Winning Note

Ernst Oertel One Step Nearer To Championship

South African Ernst Oertel looks likely to be crowned UAE Champion Trainer after his closest pursuer Musabah Al Muhairi saddled one winner at Jebel Ali’s final meeting of the season on Friday afternoon. That leaves Al Muhairi on 33 winners, one less than Oertel with only next Saturday’s Dubai World Cup meeting remaining where Oertel looks set to saddle four runners, opposed to Al Muhairi’s one.

However, Al Muhairi’s single likely runner next Saturday is Al Quoz Sprint winner Russian Rock. His four Jebel Ali wins this season, along with four from Treble Jig, winner of Friday’s featured 1800m conditions race, saw Al Muhairi and stable jockey Wayne Smith not only win the Ardmore-sponsored Jebel Ali Championships, but the pair were also presented with the keys to a brand new Chevrolet Tahoe.

Those prizes, kindly donated by H E Sheikh Majed bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, also went to the season’s leading trainer and jockey at Jebel Ali, as well as one for the owner of the most successful horse. Fathi Esaed Mohd Egziama, owner of both Treble Jig and Russian Rock won that prize, courtesy of the latter who also finished second in a race earlier in the season, to seal that title.

However, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum wins the Ardmore-sponsored owners’ award having won more seconds than Egziama throughout the season.

As mentioned, Treble Jig, winner of the Jebel Ali Stakes and Mile in each of the last two seasons, maintained his 100% strike rate on the course with victory over the Satish Seemar-trained Farrier in the featured 1800m conditions race, kindly sponsored by Sheikh Hamdan through the UK arm of his breeding operation, Shadwell.

Smith and Treble Jig tracked stable companion Trojan Nights before committing for home 600m out, quickening clear and always looking likely to hold the challenge of Farrier. Smith said: “We were very hopeful before the race as he is just a different class around here and he has not let us down.

“It has been another great season here at Jebel Ali.”

That win gave Al Muhairi every chance of at least joining Oertel on 34 winners but it was not to be.

The main support race, a 1400m conditions event, went to ‘the home team’ of racecourse owner HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, his trainer Dhruba Selvartnam and jockey James Doyle. They combined with Forjatt, recording his second consecutive course and distance victory. Doyle, sadly suspended on Dubai World Cup night, said: “That is a good end to my season and Forjatt is a nice horse for this kind of company.”

Al Muhairi’s title hopes still looked alive when Smith and Daar Rashid loomed large 300m out in the concluding 1400m maiden but they could not get past Journalistic, a first winner for trainer Mohd Ibrahim who was saddling his 24th runner. Carlos Sanchez was in the saddle.

Racing opened with a 1950m handicap and reigning Champion Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe kept his slim chance of retaining his title alive with the victory of Blue Sea and Harry Bentley who denied Al Muhairi’s Enery.

It was then the turn of former champion Satish Seemar to fuel his dim hope of regaining the crown when On War and stable jockey Richard Mullen landed the 1800m handicap.

The other race, a 1600m handicap, was won comfortably by the Mubarak bin Shafya-trained Iguaza Falls, another end of season winner for jockey Adrie De Vries who is finishing the season with a real flourish.