Dubai: Eleven horses go to post for today's feature race at Jebel Ali Racecourse, a five furlongs conditions event sponsored by Shadwell, with Satish Seemar's sprinting sensation Spin Cycling bidding to continue from where he left off last season.
The five-year-old son of former Aussie speedball Exceed An Excel landed the prestigious Jebel Ali Sprint at this track in March before going on to finish 11th behind JJ The Jet Plane in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint on Dubai World Cup night.
Spin Cycle will be aimed at all the UAE's major sprint races this season, as part of an exciting programme that includes a possible first-time start on the All Weather at Meydan, and his connections are hoping for a big run from him today.
Among the rivals that he takes on is the red-hot Mujaazef, a dual winner at Jebel Ali this season, but Assistant Trainer Bhupat Seemar, is confident that the horse has the class and ability to win this, and win it well.
"He's going to be fit and ready for the race, but it's his first start in nine months so we'll just have to see how he runs," Seemar said yesterday.
"He seems like he's training a lot better than last year, so we think he will be very competitive.
"I think this is a nice race to get started and we know he acts well on the track."
Seemar is also hoping for positive runs from the two other Zabeel horses in the race — Terrific Challenge and Seachantach.
"Terrific Challenge is getting on in age but he still has the hunger and ability," he said. "He just loves the course, and trip, so we're hoping that he'll go close. Seachantach is also in great shape and we know he acts well at Jebel Al.
Stable jockey Richard Mullen explained why he chose Spin Cycle over Terrific Challenge. "It was a very hard choice as they are both working well and both go well at Jebel Ali," said the rider. "Spin Cycle is only five though and hopefully has more to come."
Meanwhile, Mujaazef will attempt to win his third race at the course this season and champion trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe was unsurprisingly optimistic.
"He was pretty impressive in both his wins at Jebel Ali and he has come out his last race well," the trainer said.
"This is going to be a much tougher test for him but he's the form horse going into the race, so we have to be confident.
"He keeps improving so we hope he can improve further for this race."
Another notable runners is the Jebel Ali-trained Mannjal, but his trainer Dhruba Selvaratnam sounded cautious when asked about his chances.
"He will improve for the race, but we're hoping that he will go close. He's in good shape and has been training well."
Selvaratnam, however, appears to have two other live chances in Otaared in the Derrinstown Stud conditions race and Swinging Sixties in the Shadwell Farm handicap.