Thursday, March 17, 2011


My Indy takes pole at Jebel Ali


His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum's Shadwell, the UK arm of his powerful breeding operation, sponsor the entire final meeting of the Jebel Ali season on Friday afternoon with a valuable six race card providing a fitting finale to their campaign.

The official feature is a 1950m handicap for which seven have been declared and in which the weights are headed by the Mubarak bin Shafya-trained My Indy, a dual Al Maktoum Challenge winner at Nad Al Sheba in 2009 when prepared by Saeed Bin Suroor.


He is the mount of Pat Cosgrave who said: "It will be his first run at Jebel Ali but his best form is on dirt so hopefully he can run well but he does have to give weight away in a good race over a new trip."

South African Mike de Kock saddled Wonder Lawn who was a course and distance winner last year and will be ridden by Kevin Shea who won on the seven year old on his penultimate start at the Dubai International Racing Carnival at Meydan. They were an excellent third on their latest start and Shea said: "He has been in good form and we know he handles the track. It looks a good opportunity for a last run."

Champion Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe saddled both Glen Nevis and Rochdale, the mount of stable jockey Royston Ffrench but Mulaqat, trained on the track by Dhruba Selvaratnam, looks a bigger danger under William Buick. Selvaratnam said: "He is in good form and ran well enough here last year. It looks a decent contest though."

The following 1400m handicap is another high-class contest and Al Raihe's Carnival winner Haatheq heads the weights under Richard Hills. A course winner, he has enjoyed an excellent season and Al Raihe's assistant, Jilani Siddiqui said: 'The horse has done particularly well in this his first UAE season and continues in good form. We are hopeful."

He certainly will not find it easy giving weight to the likes of course specialists Otaared and Atlantic Brave among his seven rivals which also include course and distance winners Quartier Latin and Rochefort.

The season's final race of the season is a 1200m conditions race and Selvaratnam's Mannjal looks certain to go well in another competitive heat. Satish Seemar's Terrific Challenge won last year's Jebel Ali Sprint and was third in this year's renewal last week. He looks a big danger, as does De Kock's Warsaw.

The Musabah Al Muhairi-trained Royal God is another to consider in a yet another quality contest.

Dhruba Selvaratnam has 10 Jebel Ali winners this season, two more than Abdulla Bin Huzaim and Ali Rashid Al Raihe. He is in the driving seat for the course's trainers' championship, while Pat Dobbs on six in the jockeys' race has a narrow advantage over a host of pursuers including Richard Hills, Wayne Smith, Harry Bentley and Richard Mullen who all have five.


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