Thursday’s best Nad Al Sheba meeting of the season to date, kindly sponsored by the Commercial Bank of Dubai, features the three finals of the Winter Racing Challenge.

Horses competing in the early part of the season have been awarded points for their efforts, in three distance categories, with the top six invited to their respective final where they meet a host of quality performers using the night as a stepping stone to the Carnival which starts a fortnight later.

With AED300,000 on offer in each final, there is a healthy turnout and, as a result, the three most competitive handicaps we have seen all season.

Racing concludes with the 1200m Al Dana Investment handicap, the Winter Racing Challenge Sprint final, in which 15 have been declared.

Mike de Kock adds international flavour to proceedings with three runners, headed by Trinity College and Drift Ice.

He said “Drift Ice was a revelation last season and is more of a sprinter than Trinity College who will be staying on strongly. It is a valuable prize and both deserve to take their chance.”

Ali Rashid Al Raihe’s Ekhtiaar, Adi Selvaratnam’s Salaam Dubai and Dhruba Selvaratnam’s Jaasoos are among a host of dangers.

The preceding race, the 2000m Attijari Al Islami handicap, the Winter Racing Challenge Long final, has also attracted 15 declarations and is arguably even more competitive.

Igor Protti, With Interest and Crime Scene are all interesting for their new yards, while De Kock’s Bennie Blue made a very pleasing return at Jebel Ali and these are his optimum conditions.

Erwan Charpy’s duo of Singing Poet and Mister Fasliyev have to go close and, with Doug Watson saddling four with chances, it really is a wide open contest.

The same applies to the 1600m CBD World Mastercard handicap, Winter Racing Challenge Mile final in which 13 will go to post and Al Raihe’s Jet Express will be a popular selection to follow up his recent Jebel Ali victory.

De Kock’s Brave Tin Soldier chased him home and will not be far away, while Skywards and Meydan City are two others to consider.

De Kock continued: “We were very pleased with Brave Tin Soldier who has spent the summer here and acclimatised well and Bennie Blue is a tough handicapper who has to have a chance.”

With almost AED81,000 available to those selecting six winners, as part of about AED150,000 in total prize money for selection competitions, the Pick Six looks certain to be popular.

The breakdown for the Pick 6 and Tricast competitions are as follows:
Pick 6/6: AED80,820
Pick 5/6: AED10,000
Pick 4/6: AED6,000
Pick 3/6: AED4,000
Early Tricast: AED10,000
Middle Tricast: AED5,000
Late Tricast: AED33,000

Tomorrow’s card is set to begin at 7pm and there are a number of hospitality options available to suit all tastes and budgets in both the Millennium Grandstand and the Maktoum Grandstand.

Entrance to the public area of the racecourse is free of charge and there are also complimentary transfers to and from Nad Al Sheba from Dubai Marina (by Spinneys), Arabian Ranches (Shopping complex), Wafi (in front of Pyramids) and Emirates Towers (Boulevard entrance by Cartier).

Buses will leave at 6.00pm from these locations, and return departures will be at 10pm from the racecourse.

For further information or tickets for any DRC events or hospitality, please visit; or contact the Hospitality Department at Dubai Racing Club on +971 4 327 0077 or .