Nicholas Bachalard
Nicholas Bachalard and Jebel Ali Racecourse manager Shareef Al Halwani during a press conference on Tuesday. Image Credit: Leslie Wilson Jr/Gulf News

Dubai: Nicholas Bachalard, the new boss at Jebel Ali, is happy to give his runners more time to find their form in what is being seen as transition year for the yellow stable.

The Frenchman, who replaced interim trainer Karthi Selvaratnam earlier this year, is yet to break the ice at his home track, but insists he is not losing any sleep over it.

“We certainly don’t feel the pressure,” he said at Jebel Ali Racecourse on Tuesday. “We expect most of the good horses to perform well by the end of the year or early January.

“(But) we’re running a nice horse from America (Draco), first time out, this week, but he’s probably going to need the run, as it’s his first start in quite a while.”

The lightly-raced son of Astrologer will be making his three-year-old debut in the feature race Emirates NBD co-feature on Friday, where he takes on eight rivals. It will be his first start in 435 days since he won his maiden at Gulfstream Park when previously trained by David Braddy.

In his first season in the UAE, Bachalard acknowledged that the domestic racing scene was fiercely competitive.

“Anywhere you go it’s very competitive and the UAE is no different,” he said. “Every trainer wants to win, that’s what we’re in the business for.

“Wherever there is big prize money it’s harder to win, nothing comes easy in the sport.

“Besides, most of the races are handicap, so it’s up to you to put your horses in races that you think they can win,” he added.

“So, like I said, we’re happy to take out time, get the horses ready and then it’s up to them to perform.”

Bachalard was speaking on the sidelines of a press conference staged at Jebel Ali Racecourse Majlis, where the sponsors for Friday’s seven races were announced.

Derrinstown Stud, the Irish arm of Shadwell, the breeding empire owned by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, will sponsor the feature race of the afternoon, a rated conditions event over 1,200 metres.

Other sponsors include Al Sahel Contracting, Al Shafar Investment, Al Tal Engineering, Orient Irrigations Service and SIS UK.

The is the second meeting of the 2018-2019 racing season at Jebel Ali Racecourse.