Al Muhairi and Smith Take Jebel Ali Spoils


Racing returned to the UAE on Friday afternoon at Jebel Ali and, as has been the case so often in recent seasons, it was trainer, Musabah Al Muhairi and stable jockey, Wayne Smith who combined to win the feature, a 1000m handicap with Muarrab.

Carrying the famous blue and white silks of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who sponsored the race through Shadwell, the UK arm of his breeding empire, Muarrab was far too good for his six rivals and ran out a very easy winner. He has now won two of his three starts at Jebel Ali and clearly relishes the dirt surface and steep hill.

Smith said: “He is a young horse who has not has had that much racing and has thrived since arriving in the UAE. That was a very impressive effort against some seasoned sprinters and he would appear to be improving.

“It was only a handicap but the way he has won that you would have to think he could be a Jebel Ali Sprint horse which is great for the yard as we also have Russian Rock who has won that race in each of the last two seasons.”

The first race of the new UAE season was an 1800m handicap and former Champion Trainer, Ali Rashid Al Raihe was bang on the money when Street Act landed the spoils under stable jockey Royston Ffrench. It was a third win for Street Act, all in the UAE, but his first at Jebel Ali. Ffrench said: “He won twice over further at Meydan so is clearly versatile regarding conditions and that is the best possible way to start the new season.

“I was pretty happy throughout and when he picked up as I hoped he would I knew the race was in the bag.”

Trainer and jockey were to complete a double with Latkhaf but she had to work much harder to land the 1200m handicap and deny the late challenge of Journalistic.

“She is a tough little filly, said Ffrench. She showed last season that she likes it here at Jebel Ali and I was happy to go for home quite early as we know she stays further."

Trainer, Satish Seemar introduced an interesting newcomer in the shape of Frobisher who made an impressive start to his career in the 1000m maiden under stable jockey, Richard Mullen.

“It is nice when we get a young horse early in their career,” said Seemar. “We then get to educate them and bring them along as we want. We like this horse and we will look for a handicap with him, probably back here at Jebel Ali.”

Racing concluded with a 1400m handicap and promising apprentice, Thomas Brown made virtually all on Momaris, sporting Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum`s colours and trained by Dhruba Selvaratnam.

It was a fifth UAE ride for the young jockey, making his local debut on the day.

Doug Watson was another former Champion Trainer to open his account for the season with apprentice Marc Monaghan steering Maqaarat to win the 1600m handicap, initiating a double for owner Sheikh Hamdan.