Quality field for Jebel Ali’s penultimate meet - GulfToday

Quality field for Jebel Ali’s penultimate meet

Jebel Ali

Mirza Al Sayegh, Shareef Al Halawani and other dignitaries pose for a picture after the press conference.

The penultimate Jebel Ali meeting comprising a seven-race card is highlighted by an interesting 1200m sprint for 3yos.

Friday’s feature at the Jebel Ali Racecourse carries a prize purse of Dh100,000 and has attracted a field of just eight horses including Zhou Storm, Ajmal, Hafeet Star, Waqet and Hawa Bilady.

Yet again, UAE Minister of Finance and Deputy Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum-owned global racing and breeding operation Shadwell Farm has signed up to sponsor the feature event.

Friday’s meeting will kick off with the final leg of the popular Purebred Arabian series, a 1400m handicap.

Jebel Ali resident trainer Nicholas Bachalard saddles Waathig in the 1600m maiden, pencilled in as the sixth race on the card. The 4yos Tapiture gelding finished second behind Law Of Peace on his only career start in a 1600m turf maiden at Abu Dhabi, but Bachalard remains hopeful.

The French conditioner said: “Waathig ran well on grass at Abu Dhabi and there are no other options for him than to run here so though this is very quick after that run, we felt it was better off for him to run here in this. We hope he will do well.”

Speaking during a press conference at the Jebel Ali Racecourse on Tuesday, Mirza Al Sayegh, the Director of the Office of Sheikh Hamdan, said: “Sheikh Hamdan is always committed to racing at Jebel Ali Racecourse through his Shadwell Farm operation. Sheikh Hamdan has been an ardent supporter of racing at Jebel Ali and it is a venue that is close to him. He has had a lot of success here in the past and we can only hope that he will have more success this Friday on what is a very special day of racing.

“I believe the sponsorship of Shadwell Farm towards Jebel Ali is a matter of principle and we support Jebel Ali. I’m sure the public is watching and connecting with us through the television and other online platforms and we hope the results will be the best after some good racing,” he added.

Yasser Mabrouk, representative of Emirates Racing Authority, said: “The card kicks off a bit later with summer coming in and an increase in the number of daylight hours and we get this card under way with the 1400m handicap which is the final leg of the Purebred Arabian Series and we have strong fields in most of the other races as well.

“There are some very interesting races on the card for Thoroughbreds and the feature event for 3yos has attracted a quality field with some of the best divisional names going head to head. It’s going to be a very exciting race and is the highlight of the afternoon which will be very competitive with a lot of top names that have performed well over the years being signed up to run and so we look forward to the racing.

“It’s going to be a great day of racing at Jebel Ali this Friday with a card that promises top quality action as always.”

As has been the norm this season, racing will be held behind closed doors.

Shareef Al Halawani, Jebel Ali Racecourse Manager, said: “We have two of our main races of the season on this card and it looks like it’s going to be very competitive with the kind of horses, which have been declared so all in all it’s going to be a very interesting day of racing and we urge racing fans to continue to support the sport through online channels.”

While Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Farm sponsors the feature race, the six others that have joined the sponsorship roster for the day include Commercial Bank of Dubai, Al Shafar Investment, Arabian Scandinavian Insurance Company and Dubai Real Estate Centre. A 1600m maiden for Thoroughbreds will furthermore be sponsored by Jebel Ali Racecourse.

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