Dubai: Treble Jig, who made history last season when winning two of the three jewels at the Jebel Ali Racecourse, bids for back-to-back victories in the Jebel Ali Stakes on Friday.
Trained by Mosabah Al Muhairi, the son of Gone West comes into the race in very good form having comfortably won the prep at the same course a fortnight ago.
Twelve months ago Treble Jig stormed up the hill to win the Jebel Ali Stakes in emphatic fashion under stable jockey Wayne Smith before going on to claim the track’s second jewel, the Jebel Ali Mile, in impressive fashion.
On Friday he faces six rivals in the 1,950m contest, which is the showpiece on a cracking six-race card that commences at 2.15pm.
Al Muhairi was upbeat about his ward’s chances and said: “This was always the plan, to bring him back for the major races at Jebel Ali. He has trained on from last season and I don’t think we could have had him in better condition coming into to Friday’s race.
“We all know that he just loves the track at Jebel Ali and I think he will improve for his last run in the Prep, which although he won by four-and-a-half lengths, was not his best effort.”
Unbeaten in three starts at the track, Treble Jig’s main rival appears to be the Doug Watson-trained Jutland, who finished ten-and-three-quarter lengths behind him in the Prep, when taking third place.
Haatheq, who split the two to come second in the Prep, takes his chance in the trial for the Jebel Ali Mile, the second of the three major races run at Jebel Ali. Trained by Ali Rashid Al Raihe, the son of Seeking The Gold, is a three-time winner at Jebel Ali and looks the one to beat in the 1,600m contest.
The choice of two-time British champion jockey Paul Hanagan, Haatheq faces nine rivals including recent course winner Tiz Now Tiz Then who rolled back the years to his peak form of 2008 when comfortably landing a competitive handicap at the track two weeks ago.
Richard Mullen, stable jockey at Satish Seemar’s Zabeel Stables, replaces apprentice Marc Monaghan who was in the saddle when the eight-year-old stunned racegoers with his return to form at Jebel Ali. Youm Mutamiez and Famous Warrior look set to battle it out in a classy looking handicap over 1,400m with the former taken to continue jockey Wayne Smith’s strong form at the track.
The concluding race of the afternoon is an attractive sprint where Jebel Ali regulars Kilt Rock, Russian Rock and Mujaazef form a formidable trio in the six-furlong contest.
Earlier, the meeting opens with the popular HH Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum UAE Breeders Society Challenge for Purebred Arabians which has attracted a full field of 16 runners. W’Rsan Stables’ Kareem W’Rsan, a winner at the track last February, catches the eye with Sharjah specialist Knife another to look out for.
Jebel Ali Racecourse, Jan 1
Race 1: Kareem W’Rsan 1; Knife 2.
Race 2: Dormello 1; Haatheq
Race 3: Treble Jig 1; Jutland 2
Race 4: Youm Mutamiez 1; Famous Warrior 2.
Race 5: Need To Know 1; Seachantach 2.
Race 6: Russian Rock 1; Kilt Rock 2.
Day’s best: Treble Jig