Dubai: Jebel Ali Racecourse hosts its final meeting of the year which is sponsored by Emirates Airline end to end. The highlight of the six-race card is the Emirates Airlines Stakes, a six-furlong sprint which has attracted a good-looking field of nine runners led by recent course winner Raahy who steps up in trip to take on some classy speedsters.
Just three weeks ago, Raahy blazed to victory over the shortest trip when he had the beating of Jebel Ali-based Raakezz, who will be looking to reverse the form with the help of jockey Tom Marqand, who returns to Jebel Ali following a smashing 2020 season in the UK.
Raahy will once again by partnered by Dutchman Adrie de Vries who told the ERA: “He won well last time and stayed on strongly, so the extra 200m should not be an issue. Obviously the penalty makes life harder, but he should run another big race.”
Raakezz showed a lot of early speed in that race three weeks ago and with stable jockey Ryan Curatolo suspended, trainer Nicholas Bachalard has roped in Marquand, who has enjoyed much success for Jebel Ali Racecourse patron Major General Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Chief of Dubai Police and Public Security.
Marquand rode two winners in a short stint for Jebel Ali Stables three seasons ago and has won three Group Ones on Sheikh Ahmed’s Addeybb this year, two in Australia as well as the Champion Stakes in Britain.
A Street Boss colt, Raakezz made a winning debut at the end of November last year over 1000m at Jebel Ali and shared a dead-heat over 1,400m, on the same course, on his final start of the campaign albeit being subsequently disqualified after testing positive for a prohibited substance.
Bachalard said: “Raakezz ran very well over 1000m three weeks ago and will hopefully appreciate the extra 200m this week in a decent little race. He has improved for that outing and should give a good account. The management were keen to get Tom here as he is an exciting young jockey who has had plenty of success for Sheikh Ahmed so we are delighted he is here.”
Musabbeh Al Mheiri saddles three runners with stable jockey, Antonio Fresu aboard debutant Ocean Monarch. Szczepan Mazur from Poland rides Le Factor with Frenchman Clement Lecoeuvre on Sama Alwatan. Al Mheiri said: “Ocean Monarch is a new horse for us and one we really like because his work has been very good. Hopefully he can carry that over to the racecourse and we need to see if he handles Jebel Ali. The other pair are also training well and have the advantage of race fitness. Both have improved for their recent runs.”
Eshaasy makes his local and dirt bow for trainer Ali Rashid Al Rayhi and will have the services of Dane O’Neill for his main employer, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance.
(With inputs from the ERA)
Race 1:1. Tahdeed; 2. Uncle Hamed
Race 2. Iftitah; 2. Fawaareq
Race 3: 1. Dahawi; 2. Mutaraffa
Race 4: 1. Raakezz; 2. Eshaasy
Race 5: 1. Dark Of Night; 2. Poet’s Mind
Race 6: 1. Montakhab; 2. Morlock
Day’s Best: Dahawi