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Red letter day for Jebel Ali Racecourse

Venue to host first Group 3 race today

Gulf News

Dubai: Veteran Jebel Ali Stables handler Dhruba Selvaratam has described Friday’s first running of the Jebel Ali Mile as a Group 3 contest as a historic day for Jebel Ali Racecourse.

The race, which was first run in 1991, was elevated from Listed status at the end of last year following the annual meeting of the International Cataloguing Standards Committee, the single most authoritative body in the sport, whose aim is to achieve uniformity of cataloguing standards around the world.

“This is a historic day for Jebel Ali Racecourse. We’ve waited a long time for the race to get recognition as a bona fide Group 3 event,” said a delighted Selvaratnam. “It’s not an easy ask as the average rating of horses that have run in the race for a three-year period are viewed as the benchmark for the upgrade.

“Horses must be rated around 105 for a minimum period of three years before a Listed race is granted Group 3 status. The Jebel Ali Mile is one of our premier races and we are absolutely delighted that it will be now run as a Group race. Hopefully it can progress to becoming a Group 2 event and then a Group 1 race. That’s the ultimate goal.

“We are also hoping that the Jebel Ali Sprint, and the Jebel Ali Stakes, will also be upgraded to Group status in the next year or so. The standard of all three of our Pattern races has been consistently high, so we are very hopeful that they will all achieve Group status soon.”

Today’s milestone run of the Group 3 Jebel Ali Mile will be sponsored by Shadwell, the breeding operation of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance, who have been a long-time supporter.

Jebel Ali Racecourse was formed by Major-General Shaikh Ahmad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Chief of Dubai Police and Public Security, in 1990.