Dubai: Action at Jebel Ali Racecourse this weekend will send pulses racing with the seven-race card bolstered by two Listed races in the shape of the Jebel Ali Stakes sponsored by Shadwell and the Derrinstown Stud-sponsored Jebel Ali Sprint.
Both the races carry attractive purses of Dh500,000 each in a card that has a cumulative purse of Dh1.4 million.
Run over 1,950m, the Jebel Ali Stakes has attracted the top three from last year’s contest — Montsarrat, Galles and Shamaal Nibras.
Trainer Sandeep Jadhav saddles Montsarrat, the mount of Royston Ffrench, and Galles in addition to a third runner in Bois de Boulogne.
The Doug Watson-trained Shamaal Nibras carries the hopes of Emirates Entertainment Racing Club Syndicate. Watson also runs Just A Penny.
Jebel Ali resident trainer Nicholas Bachalard takes his chances with Masaarr, who was eighth on his first UAE run at Meydan in January, while Satish Seemar sends out Surfer and Broadcast.
Course specialist Draco looks to have strong claims in the 1,000m Jebel Ali Sprint, where Jadhav’s High On Life and Watson’s My Catch have the potential to challenge for a share of the purse.
Ffrench, who missed the race last year as a result of a horrific accident, takes the ride aboard defending champion Montsarrat.
Ffrench said: “I am very fortunate to have two good horses to ride in two good races. Montsarrat won the race last year and if he can turn up the same horse this year then he has a big chance.
“High On Life likes it up the hill. He loves the track and was my first winner back after injury so is quite special to me and the stable. Fingers crossed we have two very good chances in two very good races. Jebel Ali is a very unique track and takes a lot of skill for horse and rider to win. It is a stiff track and takes time getting used to. Patience is a virtue here.”
Racecourse manager Shareef Al Halawani said: “I would like to thank the sponsors for their sponsorship of this Friday’s card at Jebel Ali and we look forward to a great day of racing. There are some really good fields in each of the seven races with the focus being the Jebel Ali Sprint and Jebel Ali Stakes.”