Thursday, January 22, 2009


Back at Jebel Ali


Jebel Ali will tomorrow afternoon, stage the seven race card postponed from a week ago, with the featured 1200m handicap again kindly sponsored by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Shadwell organisation.

Thirteen have been declared for the AED100,000 dash with the weights headed by the Rashed Bouresly-trained League Champion who has run both his best races locally on this course.


Also engaged in Nad Al Sheba’s featured Al Shindagha Sprint, less than 24 hours earlier, it would be no surprise to see the six-year-old step out again.

He was fourth in last year’s Jebel Ali Sprint and his trainer explained: “He does seem to like the track and will hopefully run a big race.”

Mike de Kock’s Valiance was eighth in the Jebel Al Sprint but is considerably better off at the weights.

De Kock’s assistant, Trevor Brown, said: “The handicapper is slowly giving him a chance but he needs to run to his very best to have a chance in a competitive race.”

Erwan Charpy’s Tawaash made a pleasing local debut on this course a month ago and may appreciate this 200m shorter trip, while course winner Change Alley will find this a lot easier than the race he contested at Nad Al Sheba last week, as will Daybreak Dancer.

Local debutante Zelloof and Rod Simpson’s Surprise Package may be out of the handicap but, along with Secret Place, did win last time and could surprise a few of their light weights.

Following a hat-trick on the course two weeks ago, Champion Trainer Doug Watson will be hoping to keep his good run going and Lord Ego, part of that trio, bids to repeat his 1400m victory in an identical handicap.

Watson explained: “We tend to do well at Jebel Ali and at this time of year so, hopefully, we can get another winner or two but it does look a competitive card.”

Dhruba Selvaratnam’s Mannjal, trained on the course, seeks a third course win of the campaign in the 1600m handicap, having twice won over 1400m this season.


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