Doug Watson’s multiple Group winner Kimbear looks the best bet to win the season finale at Jebel Ali Racecourse. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Jebel Ali Racecourse signs off for the season with a seven-race card, which has a feature lined up in the form of the Jebel Ali Classic (Silver Jubilee).

The 1400m Conditions event has roped in a full field of 16, with Doug Watson’s multiple Group winner Kimbear as the one to beat. The race does have a number of other names that could spoil his party with the Satish Seemar-schooled Above Normal and Nicholas Bachalard conditioned Shamikh the two strong standout prospects as rivals.

Kimbear debuts at the hill and that uphill finish is the only thing that could go against the seven-year Temple City entire, a three time winner at Meydan. He still has plenty of quality and this drop in class could suit his cause and usher in a first success on his fourth start this term. The winner of the 2018 Group 3 Burj Nahaar and the 2020 Gr.2 Al Maktoum Challenge Rd1 partners Watson’s first choice rider Pat Dobbs, who guided him to victory in the aforementioned events.

Main threat

His main threat can come from Bachalard’s Shamikh, who runs in his backyard and will look to deliver more success for the home team as they prepare to close for the season. Shamikh is unbeaten in three runs at Jebel Ali, two of which have been gained over track and trip with his latest over 1600m. He broke his maiden on debut in November, then figured eighth in a 1900m Meydan affair, but having been returned to the hill, the four-year-old Lea colt won two back-to-back Conditions affairs over trip and 1600m by a cumulative 8.25 lengths against strong opposition.

Bachalard saddles two others on the card for Shamikh’s owner Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Jebel Ali Racecourse patron. Nayefah runs in the other 1400m Conditions event for three-year-olds, with Nibraas being saddled in the card opening 1400m maiden.

“We have four runners on the last day and I feel a change of surface will do Nayefah good. Meydan hasn’t been her cup of tea and we really hope she performs better here. It’s a big step up for Shamikh and a massive challenge for him but it will help see where we stand with him. This will most likely be his last run of the season and we will try him on grass in the future,” Bachalard said.

A card dedicated to thoroughbred racing, the action gets underway with the 1400m maiden, where Salem Bin Ghadayer’s Rare Ninja stands out alongside Waqet and Bachalard’s Nibraas.

That is followed by a 1400m handicap and the Conditions battle featuring three-year-olds where Nayefah is likely to be strongly opposed by Seemar’s Al Maroom and Watson’s Super Chianti. The last three races on the card include a pair of 1950m handicaps and a 1200m sprint.