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Thursday, March 08, 2012


Seemar seeks second Jebel Al Sprint win


The Shadwell breeding operation of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the generous sponsor of three races at Jebel Ali's penultimate meeting of the season on Friday afternoon. The highlight is the AED500,000 Jebel Ali Sprint, over 1000m, with previous winners, Terrific Challenge and Spin Cycle, both prepared by trainer Satish Seemar ,seeking second victories in the race.

Stable jockey Richard Mullen rides 2011 winner Spin Cycle with Ted Durcan on Terrific Challenge, who was third last year, after his 2010 success under the same rider.


Mullen said: "It is not easy to pick between the pair but Spin Cycle has age on his side and I am hoping can bounce back to winning ways."

Durcan commented: "These are his optimum conditions and it is a great spare ride on a horse I have won this race on before. He is ten now though but will hopefully run his usual good race. It would be great if he could roll back the years and win again."

Try Prospect is the only horse to have won the race twice, in 1996 and 1997. He was trained by Dhruba Selvaratnam who relies on Alo Pura, third to Terrific Challenge in 2010. The trainer said: "If it was over 1200m I would be very hopeful but she handles the track and is in good form. She should be running on at the end."

Russian Rock beat stablemate Fityaan in the course and distance prep race last month and both should go well again for Musabah Al Muhairi. Richard Hills rides Fityaan for owner and race sponsor His Highness Sheikh Hamdan, with stable jockey Wayne Smith on Russian Rock who was fifth in this race last year.

Smith, Al Muhairi and owner Fathi Esaed Mohd Egziama will be bidding for an unprecedented Jebel Ali clean sweep of the track's three Listed races having already won both the Jebel Ali Mile and Stakes with Treble Jig. Identical connections have never won all three and Smith said: "That was his UAE debut last year and he has improved in the year. He did it well last time and it would be amazing to win all three big races on the course."

Kilt Rock was seeking a fifth Jebel Ali victory of the season when missing the break in the prep and his trainer, Doug Watson, said: "Hopefully he can break better this time and be competitive in a decent renewal."

The winner will be hoping for an invitation to one of the Group1 sprints on Dubai World Cup night.

There are also two competitive conditions races including the concluding event over 1950m. Champion Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe's Zain Shamardal looks the one to beat although Watson's Mushreq was very impressive when beating Selvaratnam's Mulaqat over 1800m last time.

The trio should dominate, while the similar race over 1400m is wide open with Selvaratnam's Otaared, Seemar's Escape Route and the Abdulla bin Huzaim-trained Spirit Of Battle renewing rivalry.

The three were involved in a four-way photo in an identical race won by Five Cents four weeks ago and there should be little between them again, while Seemar also saddles He'sminenotyours who can go well along with Al Muhairi's Atlantic Brave.


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