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Alazeyab and Forjatt Face Off in Jebel Ali Feature

Quality Card for Track`s Second Meeting

The official feature at Friday’s second Jebel Ali meeting of the season is a fascinating 1400m Conditions race but there is also a quality 1200m Handicap, the penultimate race of six, to look forward to.

Eight have been declared for feature, including three owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, whose Derrinstown Stud, the Irish arm of his breeding empire, sponsor the race.

The owner’s retained jockey, Dane O’Neill chooses to ride Alazeyab, penalised for his win in last season’s HH The President’s Cup on the Abu Dhabi turf. Trained by Ali Rashid Al Raihe, O’Neill’s mount was fourth in this race on his seasonal debut last year.

“He normally goes well fresh, said O’Neill. “The trainer is happy with him and he goes well at Jebel Ali which is always a bonus.

He did not finish last season in the best of form but the summer off seems to have done him good.

“Giving weight away is never ideal but he is a good horse on his day.”

The other penalised runner in the race is Forjatt, one of two in the race trained on the track for racecourse patron, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Stable jockey, James Doyle rides Forjatt, twice a course and distance winner including a Conditions race at the final Jebel Ali meeting of last season. It is for that win he is penalised.

Selvaratnam also saddles course specialist, Otaared winner of this race in 2009 and a course and distance Handicap at this meeting in 2010. The mount of apprentice Thomas Brown, he is actually seeking a sixth 1400m Jebel Ali victory and an eight in total on the track.

Selvaratnam said: “Otaared is nearly nine now but has done really well for us over the last few years. He may need this but seems in good form at home, as does Forjatt. He has a penalty though which makes his task tougher.”

The Doug Watson-trained Kilt Rock, second in last year’s 1000m Jebel Ali Sprint, a race in which he was third in 2012, steps up to 1400m for the first time on a course he has won five times.

He is owned by Emirates Entertainment Racing Club (EERC) whose spokesman, Justin Byrne said: “We have decided to run in this race as he has no penalty and if we prove he stays 1400m up the hill we will have more options throughout the season. We would have been carrying a big weight if we went for the 1200m handicap so this looked the best option.”

With Kilt Rock absent, Selvaratnam’s Jebel Ali Sprint third, Sholaan looks sure to be a popular Pick Six selection but will need to be at his very best if Muarrab is in the same scintillating form as he was a fortnight ago.

Owned by Sheikh Hamdan and trained by Musabah Al Muhairi, Muarrab annihilated six rivals in a 1000m handicap a fortnight ago after which the stable jockey nominated him as a Jebel Ali Sprint possible.

Retained jockey, O’Neill takes over this time and said: “He was very impressive the last day – you could not help but be very taken with that effort. This is a lot tougher and we will see how good he is.”