Jebel Ali Racecourse has always played a key role in the flourishing horseracing culture of the UAE. Image Credit: Atiq-ur-Rehman/Gulf News archive

Dubai: Jebel Ali Racecourse management said that they are currently working round-the-clock to restore the famous racetrack to its favoured surface to ensure that racing resumes at the earliest possible date.

The Emirates Racing Authority (ERA), the sport’s governing body in the UAE, had put a temporary closure to activities at the three decade old racecourse after several jockeys had expressed concern at the elevated levels of ‘kickback’ during recent meetings.

The ERA advised Jebel Ali racecourse to improve the safety of the track before it being cleared for racing again.

The racecourse management said in an official press release that they are proud of the relationship shared with the ERA and “fully respect” any recommendations to upgrade the standing of horseracing at the popular racecourse.

The track, which boasts a unique and challenging uphill finish, has earned praise from several legendary jockeys, who have ridden at Jebel Ali including Sir Lester Piggott, Johnny Murtagh, James Doyle and William Buick.

“After we recently received the recommendations from the Emirates Racing Authority regarding the safety of the track’s ground, we have been studying these recommendations with local and international experts to reach the best scientific methods to restore the track to its previous condition,” Engineer Shareef Al Halawani, the racecourse manager said in a press release.

“As far as we know, there has not been any horse/jockey related accidents since the opening of the racecourse.

“We have started implementing practical steps to ensure the fulfilment of the authorities (ERA) recommendations. As we have in the past, Jebel Ali Racecourse declares it continuous commitment and cooperation with the Emirates Racing Authority in the present and in the future to preserve the safety of our jockeys and horses,” he added.

“A working plan has been put in place and we are trying to finish the work as quickly as possible to restore life back to the racecourse, which is very dear to its fans who are eager to attending the dazzling races that characterise the Family Racecourse.”

There are seven race meetings still scheduled to be run at the Jebel Ali Racecourse during the 2019-2020 UAE racing season.