Jebel Ali Racecourse stages a seven-race card on Saturday, highlighted by a handicap over 1800m in which those at the head of the weights will be hoping to advertise their Dubai World Cup Carnival claims.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
As Jebel Ali Racecourse gears up to celebrate its 30th anniversary, it opens a new chapter to add to its long history with racing hereafter scheduled to be hosted at the venue on Saturday. Since the inception, the racecourse was holding the races on Fridays during the season.
Following the UAE government’s decision to move its weekend to Saturday and Sunday, this sixth meeting of Jebel Ali calendar has been dubbed the ‘Deira’ and a seven-race card is what awaits the thousands that are expected at the racecourse.
The total prize money on offer is set at Dhs470,000, with a hefty chunk of Dhs84,000 reserved for the feature event, which will this Saturday witness a strong field of divisional names in the 4yo and older class with a rating between 76 and 96 contest for the pot.
The aforementioned feature event is sponsored by Shadwell. In addition to them, Al Sahel Contracting Co., Al Shafar Investment, Al Huzaifa Furniture, Ascana and Commercial Bank of Dubai are part of the sponsorship roster, with Jebel Ali Racecourse also supporting a race.
And although with the public health and safety protocols in place crowds attending to ‘family racecourse’ will be limited to a maximum of 8,000 spectators, there will be no cap curtailing the excitement of racegoers attending the meeting.
Ahmed Al Shehhi, Organising Committee Member of Jebel Ali Racecourse, said: “Saturday’s racing is of historical importance as it marks the 30th anniversary of the founding of the racecourse by Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
“Jebel Ali Racecourse has become a pivotal fixture in the racing calendar of the UAE and over the years the track has contributed tremendously to racing in the Emirates with its high quality and competitive racing and facilities.
“As Jebel Ali Racecourse celebrates, I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to all our partners that have contributed over the past 30 years to helping us raise the bar and play a crucial role in the development of the racing industry.
“The lofty status achieved by the track is thanks to the efforts and continuous support of its founder and patron Sheikh Ahmed.”
Engineer Sharif Al Halawani, who has been with Jebel Ali Racecourse since its inception and is currently the manager of the facility, said: “This day reminds us of a long rich history of the racecourse.
“It is a path that is full of successes that have been achieved as a result of the careful follow up and the insightful vision of Sheikh Ahmed, the founder and patron of the racecourse.
“This time of the year takes us back in time to 1991 and spans over three decades, during which time the track grew into one of the best destinations for racing here in the UAE. Owners, jockeys and trainers, and our loyal fans that have associated with us closely over the decades have truly made this a ‘family racecourse.'
“Today, we thank our partners in success for all the support and assistance they have given to the management of the track, which resulted in our rich history and our success. I thank the Emirates Racing Authority, which was and has always been with us and helped racing evolve, and the Dubai Horse Racing Information Center and Al Adiyat, and everyone in these two institutions for playing a crucial role in the tremendous success achieved by us here at Jebel Ali Racecourse.”
The seven-race card is highlighted by a handicap over 1800m in which those at the head of the weights will be hoping to advertise their Dubai World Cup Carnival claims.
After breaking on terms from his high draw, Modern Games raced in mid-division down the stands’ side, with Mutasaabeq leading the 12-strong field down the centre of the course.
The Abu Dhabi turf played host to six races on Sunday and UAE champion Jockey Tadhg O’Shea landed four consecutive races for a memorable four-timer, including doubles for both Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda and Ernst Oertel.
Now an 8-year-old, after 20 starts he has won just once, his final appearance in his native France, over 1,700m on turf, in July 2018. He joined Mohd Ramadan, making a very pleasing local debut in a conditions race over the same 2,000m as Friday’s race.
The race is held with the support of the Sharjah Sports Council with Longines as the official sponsor and media sponsorship of Sharjah TV, with the strong participation of purebred Arabian horses, local production horses and purebred hybrid horses, with a total of 75 horses.
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