Nicholas Bachalard
Nicholas Bachalard (left), seen with Jebel Ali Racecourse manager Shareef Al Halwani, is looking for early pointers for the 2021 Dubai World Cup. the Image Credit: Leslie Wilson Jr/Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Jebel Ali handler Nicholas Bachalard is hoping the ride the momentum of a pair of inspiring wins at his home track and at Abu Dhabi a fortnight ago with the long-term goal of finding horses to compete in the UAE Classics and the 2021 Dubai World Cup.

The Frenchman sent out Shamikh to score an attractive victory in a maiden at Jebel Ali Racecourse and followed it up in impressive fashion when Boerhan, formerly trained by William Haggas in the UK to finish third in te Listed Felden Stakes at Newmarket, England, took out a Conditions event at Abu Dhabi.

The race is regarded as a major prep for the Listed National Day Cup on the first Friday in December.

Speaking to the media at a virtual press conference on Tuesday morning, Bachalard sounded positive and upbeat as he assessed his chances for Friday’s six-race meeting at Jebel Ali and also spoke about the future goals for his stable.


“We run three horses this week with Raakezz taking part in the feature which is over a distance he likes (5f),” he said.

“He has a good draw too and if he can break well he should have a chance. The plan is to give him a run see where the horse fits. He’s doing good at home.”

Raakeez faces 10 rivals including What A Metal who represents Salem Bin Ghadayer.

“What A Metal already has a win under him this year over the course and that’s why he’ll probably have a small edge on us fitness wise. But as long as Raakeez runs well we’ll be happy.

Bachalard has two other runners on the day, Tahdeed and Top Clearance, who drops back in trip for the Al Reda Insurance Brokers Handicap.

“With regards to the two-year-old Tahdeed, he’s training well but its his first time out,” he said, “We all first time starters. Hope he can break well and run his race.

“With Top Clearance we are trying something new with him. I hope he will come back and have a better chance another day because he hasn’t run this distance (7f) in over five years.”

Commenting on the new season, the Frenchman said: “We hope he can have a good year because our ultimate goal this season is to try and be present on Dubai World Cup night .

:We need to ffind runners that can take us there through the Guineas and then on to the Derby.”

Having made a positive start, Bachalard praised the team behind him and thanked Jebel Ali Stables and Racecourse owner Major General Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Chief of Dubai Police and Public Security, for his ‘continuous support.’

“It’s a whole team effort, everybody works hard,” he said.

“We are very grateful for the support of Sheikh Ahmed and Mohammed Al Shehhi. It’s important for the team. Hopefully you can carry on.

“With Ryan (Curatolo) joining us as stable jockey we made a fresh start this year, working with a fresh mind and fresh ideas. So it’s a combination of many things that we hope will benefit the team and the stable.”

Meanwhile, Mirza Al Seyagh, representing sponsors Shadwell Farm, was happy to see Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, make a positive start to the 2020-2021 UAE racing season.

“Sheikh Hamdan is very passionate about racing in the UAE, and at Jebel Ali Racecourse in particular,” Al Sayegh said.

“His passion combines his interests both as a patron of Jebel Ali through his sponsorship of the races under the Shadwell banner and the participation of his horses.”

The six races are sponsored by Shadwell Farm, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Al Redha Insurance Brokers, SIS Uk, Arabian Scandinavian Insurance and Dubai Real Estate.