Dubai: Course specialists Youm Mutamiez and Kilt Rock return to their happy hunting ground at the Jebel Ali Racecourse to contest the feature race of Friday’s meeting, a 1200-metre handicap sponsored by the renowned Shadwell Farm.
Between them the duo have notched eight wins at the hilly track but meet each other for only the second time since January last year, when Kilt Rock finished second to Youm Mutamiez’s ninth.
The latter has since shown marked improvement in form, winning four times, including on his last start a fortnight ago, when he was part of a brilliant four-timer for his trainer Musabah Al Muhairi.
However, this will be the first time that the son of Seeking The Gold will be tested over the six-furlong trip that saw him well beaten by Kilt Rock last season.
Jockey Wayne Smith is not losing any sleep over the drop in distance, saying: “He has plenty of natural speed and 1200m should not be an issue — the only time he tried it before he blew the start and lost ground. He is in great form, as he showed a fortnight ago, and he will not be far away.”
The Doug Watson-trained Kilt Rock has something to find on current form, having not won since January last year, when he beat Satwa Street in a similar race.
Stable jockey Pat Dobbs takes the ride on the Emirates Entertainment Racing Club-owned son of Giant’s Causeway, with syndicate spokesman Justin Byrne saying: “He has been a star for us over the last two seasons and hopefully this is a good opportunity to get his head back in front. At least there is no Russian Rock in the field this time as he has finished in front of him in each of his last five starts, winning four of them.
“Youm Mutamiez and United Color look big dangers.”
Trained at Jebel Ali Racecourse by Dhruba Selvaratnam, United Color will hope to improve on his impressive second to Russian Rock in a race in which Kilt Rock was third, while Satish Seemar’s Take Ten looks a big danger, having bounced back to form with a win at Meydan a fortnight ago.
Meanwhile, Suited And Booted looks to repeat the success he enjoyed at this track two weeks ago when he takes on stable companion Special Boy, who was also a winner on that day.
Smith rides Suited And Booted with Adrie De Vries retaining the ride on Special Boy.
Smith commented on the Al Muhairi-trained pair: “Both should run well and we also have Hannibal Hayes in the race, who should go close also.”
Periphery looks the one to beat in a 1600m handicap where he faces nine rivals.
The meeting opens with the HH Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid UAE Breeders Society Challenge for Purebred Arabians, where AF Kamaash is tipped to win from Knife.