Dubai: Jebel Ali Stables handler Nicholas Bachalard and stable jockey Ryan Curatolo have made an encouraging start to the season, winning two races from five starts, and the French pairing will be looking to maintain the winning momentum when Jebel Ali hosts a six-race card on Friday.
Bachalard saddles three interesting runners led by the exciting Raakezz, who will hope to reproduce his effort from last season when he won the 1,000m Shadwell Farm Conditions Stakes as a two-year-old. The son of Street Boss faces five rivals including course-and-distance winner What A Metal appearing to be the main threat.
Assessing his chances, Bachalard said: “The horses have been in good form, so we hope that continues. Raakezz runs well at Jebel Ali and we are happy with the draw in stall one. We expect a good run, assuming he breaks well.
“But What A Metal already has a win over course and distance under his belt and looks the one to beat. This could give him a slight advantage. But whatever happens Raakezz looks a nice horse for the future as he still maturing and showing so good form on the training track in the mornings.”
Emirati handler Salem bin Ghadayer has his yard in fine order and will take a positive view of What A Metal’s second run of the season under stable jockey Royston Ffrench riding for Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.
On his season appearance in October What A Metal had the measure of Bachalard’s Sadeedd over the same five-furlong trip at Jebel Ali.
He was well beaten by Raakezz in a 1,400m contest that the rival was eventually disqualified for as a result of a positive test for a prohibited substance.
Bin Ghadayer told the Emirates Racing Authority: “This is obviously a tougher race than the maiden he won, but he seems to have improved from that win and come out of the race in very good form. Hopefully he goes back to Jebel Ali with a good chance in a tough little race.”
Another interesting contender is Raahy, who races out Jaber Ramadhan’s Desert 2 Stables.
Former trained by Bahrain’s Fawzi Naas who acquired the gelding out of George Scott’s stables the son of Brazen Beau will be having his first start for Ramadham.
His best effort when trained by Nass was a fifth place effort at Jebel over Friday’s 1,000m trip,
The remaining eight runners in the feature race are all maidens with Le Factor, being the sole debutant for trainer, Musabbeh Al Mheiri who landed a three-timer at Meydan last Thursday.
Satish Seemar is doubly represented with stable jockey Richard Mullen choosing to ride Emblem Sky, the pair having been third in the 1,000m maiden won by What A Metal four weeks ago.
Champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea rides stable companion Mass Media, who returns from a 252-day layoff as he makes his first start over the five furlong trip.
Doug Watson has been in rousing form with trebles at each of the two previous Jebel Ali meetings this season and he relies on the Pat Dobbs-partnered Far Sky, who makes a quick return to action after finishing seventh behind Antonio Vivaldi at Meydan last weekend.
Meanwhile, trainer/owner Rashed Bouresly saddles his first runners of the campaign, including You’re My Rock and Morrabbi Al Ajjial, the mounts of Fabrice Veron and Bernardo Pinheiro respectively, in the feature.
The field of 11 is completed by Major Cinnamon, representing Mujeeb Rahman who is seeking his first UAE winner in what will be his third season as a licensed handler. Racing starts at 2pm.
Race 1: 1, Al Hadeer, 2. Manhunter
Race 2: 1. Almoreb, 2. Shajjy
Race 3: 1. Iftitah, 2. Faith And Fortune
Race 4: 1. What A Metal, 2. Raakezz
Race 5: 1. Tahdeed, 2. Uncle Hamed
Race 6: 1. Fraserburgh, 2. Rougher
Day’s Best: What A Metal