Thursday, December 15, 2011
Al Raihe can stretch Championship lead with Aamaq
Shadwell Farm, the American arm of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum's breeding empire is the generous sponsor of the featured 1600m conditions race at Jebel Ali on Friday afternoon.
The sponsor has enjoyed a great deal of success in his own races this season and relies on Aamaaq, prepared by Champion trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe and the mount of the owner's retained jockey, Richard Hills.
The trainer said: "Aamaaq has a good record fresh so we are not worried about that and he is working nicely. He is one of our [Dubai World Cup] Carnival horse and has run well at Meydan as well as Jebel Ali and we are hoping he has a good season for us."
Al Raihe also saddles Yirga, the mount of stable jockey Royston Ffrench and another live contender with course form to his name. He added: "He too is in good form at home and goes well at Jebel Ali. I would struggle to split them in all honesty."
It is far from a two horse race though with last year's winner, Emmrooz, certainly feared for trainer Dhruba Selvaratnam with jockey William Buick making his return to the UAE for the first time this season.
After his win in this last year Selvaratnam's horse subsequently won the Listed Jebel Ali Stakes over 1950m but carries a penalty for that win.
The trainer said: "He is in very good form and we are very pleased with him. The 1600m is probably short of his best but this looks an ideal place to get him back on the course and he did win the race last year – though he had already had a run before running in this. The Jebel Ali Stakes is his main target again but he should run well in what looks a competitive race."
Musabah Al Muhairi trains Atlantic Brave who produced a career best when second in last season's Jebel Ali Mile. This will be his third run of the new season and jockey Wayne Smith said: "He has produced two good runs in defeat this season and that should have put him spot on for this. He is very capable on his day and I have to be hopeful."
Mubarak bin Shafya trains Mureb who beat the re-opposing Step In Line in a course and distance handicap at the last meeting.
Bin Shafya's charge could not have been more impressive on that occasion and should go well under Pat Cosgrave, while the Satish Seemar-trained Ibn Al Nafis should not be ruled out
The mount of Richard Mullen, he suffered his only career defeat in a similar race here, over 1400m, a month ago. He was entitled to have needed that outing, his first since February 2010 and he looked an exciting prospect when winning all three of his first career outings two seasons ago.
Read more articles in the Emirates Racing Authority category.