Shareef Al Halawani, Jebel Ali Racecourse manager, says we are glad to be hosting such a competitive card this week and it is again an eight-race card.
Amir Naqvi, Sports Editor
The iconic Jebel Ali Racecourse will host its penultimate meeting which promises to one of the more exciting cards of the season with the Shadwell sponsored Conditions Jebel Ali Classic (Silver Jubilee) alongside an interesting 3yo race topping the eight races framed for Friday.
Both Jebel Ali Classic and 3yo race will take centre stage on a eight-race meting, with racing attendance restricted to connections, sponsors and accredited media.
The Jebel Ali Classic and the race for 3yos titled ‘Shadwell Farm’ will be fought over an identical 1,400m distance.
Shadwell backs the feature race: the Jebel Ali Classic, which carries a prize fund of Dhs300,000, with the Shadwell Farm for 3yos boasting a purse of Dhs250,000.
A number of top names will line up during the course of the Friday afternoon, particularly in the Jebel Ali Classic in the silks of UAE Minister of Finance and Deputy Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, whose unwavering support as sponsor has seen racing flourish at the Jebel Ali.
Five of the 16 in the field will carry his blue representing three different trainers in the form of Ali Rashid Al Rayhi, Doug Watson and Musabbeh Al Mheiri.
The race also features strong divisional names with Watson’s ever- consistent veteran Shamaal Nibras, winner of the last two editions of the race, going in search of a hat-trick of wins in the colours of Emirates Entertainment Racing Club (EERC).
Watson fields another consistent name in Mystique Moon, while Satish Seemar, the frontrunner in this year’s UAE Champion Trainers race, has a strong contingent headed by Ode To Autumn, with stablemates Riflescope, Pilgrim’s Treasure and newcomer Medahim adding to the intrigue.
Jebel Ali Racecourse’s management issued a statement about its 11th meeting in which it said: “We are pleased to announce the 11th race meeting of the season on Friday and hope that the race will be well contested by all those participating.
“The racecourse management has set its promotional plan for this race and aims to execute the event in the best way possible and in a manner that appeals to all. We hope to make it beneficial to all the sponsors and supporters of racing at Jebel Ali Racecourse.
“We would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to all our sponsors for their continued support to the racecourse.”
Mirza Al Sayegh, director of the office of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said: “Shadwell is proud to sponsor the full eight-race card at Jebel Ali Racecourse on Friday with esteemed organisations such as Newbury Racecourse, Irish Thoroughbred Marketing and the British Embassy, Dubai.
“The relationship between the UAE and the UK will continue to flourish in line with this present partnership and will strengthen even better. I believe that the owners, trainers and jockeys will enjoy the full day racing and will prove their horses represent the best outcome for their yards,” he added.
Shareef Al Halawani, Jebel Ali Racecourse manager, said: “We are glad to be hosting such a competitive card this week and it is again an eight-race card.
“It is one of the bigger race meetings of the season with the Jebel Ali Classic being contested and we eagerly await the action.
“Jebel Ali Racecourse has always been popular with the trainers and jockeys and with the end of the season round the corner, we can expect a lot of hot competition,” Halawani added.
Yasir Mabrouk, an Emirates Racing Authority representative, said: “We have a very good card this week with full fields in nearly all of the races. We have an eight-race card that should be interesting as well so it will be a long afternoon of racing.
“There’re some really good strong names in some of the races and the crowd is bound to be enthralled on the day with the likes of top names like Ode To Autumn, Riflescope and Shamaal Nibras contesting the Classic and many other runners representing Sheikh Hamdan, who we thank for sponsoring the races,” he added.
The sponsorship roll is completed by British Embassy, Irish Thoroughbred Marketing and Newbury Racecourse UK and combined, the seven races are worth Dhs1,100,000.
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