Thursday, November 12, 2009


Ajtebi makes season debut at Jebel Ali


The feature race at Friday’s Jebel Ali racemeeting is kindly sponsored once again by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum's Shadwell organisation. Eleven runners have been declared for the 1600m handicap worth AED100,000. Champion Trainer Doug Watson is responsible for three of the runners, as is former champion Erwan Charpy.

Watson's trio are the top three on the racecard with the weights headed by Fares, the mount of Daragh O'Donohoe and a winner at the 2009 Dubai International Racing Carnival, as was stable companion Clasp. Apprentice Charles Eddery is an interesting jockey booking for the latter, while Tadhg O'Shea partners Arqaam, the third Watson runner. This trip could be on the sharp side for him but, if he does not miss the break as he has in the past, he should be staying on strongly.


Charpy's trio appear to be headed by Mister Fasliyev who goes well on the course and is to be ridden by David Badel, with Matthew Henry's mount Stepping Up perhaps the next best of Charpy's runners.

With Satish Seemar saddling a double last week, Rochefort cannot be ignored, while Meeriss is trained on the track by Dhruba Selvaratnam.

Ali Rashid Al Raihe's Jet Express will go close if truly staying the 1600m, while Igor Protti looked a serious racehorse when winning at the Carnival for Godolphin in 2008. He is now trained by Abdulla Bin Huzaim, as is course winner Plavius and both can go well in a wide open contest.

Selvaratnam's Mannjal looks sure to be a popular choice in the 1200m handicap in which Rashed Bouresly's Lightning Flash may surprise a few people after his comeback last week.

Racing concludes with 1000m dash and Go On Be A Tiger should go close for trainer Musabah Al Muhairi, who has big chances throughout the card. These include Always Emirates in the 1400m handicap and Liwa in the other 1600m handicap. The latter would appear to have Street Talk, trained by Bin Huzaim, to beat along with the same trainer's Seeking An Alibi who won last week.

Racing opens with a 1950m handicap featuring the return to local action of apprentice jockey Ahmed Ajtebi who cemented his place in the history books last Saturday when winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Godolphin's Vale of York.

Ajtebi, who also won both turf races at the final World Cup meeting at Nad Al Sheba, said: "It has been a great year and to win at the Breeders' Cup was brilliant. I cannot thank Sheikh Mohammed enough and everyone at Godolphin has been great."

He will be hoping to make a winning return on Emirates Line in that 1950m handicap.


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