Dubai: Jebel Ali Racecourse stages the only race meeting in the UAE this weekend, a seven-race card on Friday highlighted by a handicap over 1,800 metres. Twelve have been declared, with a quartet from trainer Doug Watson and stable jockey Pat Dobbs electing to ride Dehbashi.
Third on his seasonal reappearance at Meydan, four-time winner Dehbashi is owned by Mohammad Khalifa Al Basti, as is stable companion Bowditch, a fascinating local debutant after his Dh500,000 purchase at April’s ERA Racing in Dubai Sale. A three-year-old son by Nathaniel, he won his final two starts on all-weather surfaces in England for John Gosden and Princess Haya. Nathaniel, of course, is the sire of superstar seven-time G1 winner Enable.
“Dehbashi tends to run well at Jebel Ali, so Pat has chosen him,” Watson said. “He has the advantage of a run this season, whereas Bowditch is having his first start for us and since March. We really like [Bowditch] and he has been working well. Hopefully, he will handle the conditions and be a nice new horse for us.
Speaking about his other two runners, Watson said: “You certainly cannot rule out Mizbah, who goes well at Jebel Ali, and Mutamakkin only ran there once before in a much better race, so it will be interesting to see how he goes.”
The latter pair are both owned by EERC (Emirates Entertainment Racing Club) whose spokesman, Justin Byrne, added: “The old boy Mizbah, who is about to turn 10, is doing very well at home and things did not go to plan on his seasonal return at Meydan. He has a decent draw on Friday, which Mutamakkin does not. The latter is a big horse, who needed his comeback and, can hopefully progress with racing throughout the season.”
Top Clearance, owned by racecourse patron Maj Gen Shaikh Ahmad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Chief of Dubai Police and Public Security, is trained on the track by Nicholas Bachalard, but is entitled to need this run on his seasonal bow under Chris Hayes. A Group 1 performer in the US for three-time Breeders’ Cup winner Wayne Catalano, his best is dangerous, but not expected first off the layoff.
Over course and distance, in January this year, and over 1,950 metres in December 2017, Dehbashi chased home Interconnection and Galles respectively, both in Friday’s line-up for Sandeep Jadhav. He also saddles Rio Tigre, who gets the vote from stable jockey Royston Ffrench and exits a course and distance handicap victory two weeks ago. Of his stable companions, as well as winning at Jebel Ali, Galles was also second in the 1,950-metre Jebel Ali Stakes (Listed) in February when Interconnection was sixth.