Jebel Ali stages their third meeting of the current campaign on Friday, hosting six races, highlighted by a 1000m conditions race for 3-year-olds in which 11 have been declared, including Raakezz.
Prepared at the adjacent Jebel Ali Stables by Nicholas Bachalard for his main patron Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, also owner of the racecourse, the Street Boss colt made the perfect start to his career, on this card 12 months ago as a 2-year-old, with an impressive victory over the same 1000m course and distance as Friday’s contest. A switch to turf for the 1400m Meydan Classic Trial did not really work out and, for his final outing, he returned to Jebel Ali when involved in a thrilling dead-hear over 1400m. He was, however, subsequently disqualified after testing positive for a prohibited substance. Bachalard and new stable jockey Ryan Curatolo have made a bright start to the new campaign, winning with two of the five runners to represent them thus far, as well as a pair of seconds.
Bachalard said: “The horses have been in good form, so we hope that continues. Raakezz runs well at Jebel Ali and we are happy with the draw in stall one. We expect a good run, assuming he breaks well, but What A Metal looks the one to beat with the advantage of a run this season.”
Salem bin Ghadayer will saddle What A Metal with Royston Ffrench riding for Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohd Al Maktoum. Earlier in October, in what was his fifth career start and seasonal debut the Exceed And Excel colt beat Bachalard’s Sadeedd over the Jebel Ali 1000m. He was, however, a long way behind Raakezz in the 1400m contest that rival was eventually disqualified.
Bin Ghadayer said: “This is obviously a tougher race than the maiden he won, but he seems to have improved from that win and come out of the race in very good form.
“Hopefully he goes back to Jebel Ali with a good chance in a tough little race.”
Bin Ghadayer’s charge and Raakezz both carry penalties for their course victories. Similarly penalised, having landed a 1000m novice stakes on fast ground at Lingfield as a juvenile in June 2019, is Raahy. Trained then by George Scott, for whom he ran seven times, the gelded son of Brazen Beau then had four UAE outings earlier this year for Fawzi Nass, but will be having his first start for Jaber Ramadham. Arguably his best effort for Nass was his sole Jebel Ali outing when fifth in a reasonable 1000m handicap under Adrie de Vries who is again in the saddle on Friday.
The remaining eight runners are all maidens with Le Factor, the sole debutant, among the most interesting runners after his trainer, Musabbeh Al Mheiri, made a flying belated start to his campaign with a Meydan treble last Thursday. A colt by The Factor, he will seek to give owners J & J Syndicate a first UAE victory after seven unsuccessful runners last season.
Satish Seemar is doubly represented with Richard Mullen choosing to ride Emblem Sky, the pair having been third in the 1000m maiden won by What A Metal four weeks ago on just the Cairo Prince colt’s second start.
Tadhg O’Shea rides stable companion Mass Media, returning from 252 days off the track and running over a trip shorter than 1400m for the first time.
Doug Watson has saddled a treble at each of the two previous Jebel Ali meetings this season and Pat Dobbs partners his Far Sky, making a quick return to action after a perhaps disappointing on his seasonal debut in a 1400m Meydan maiden just last Thursday.
As the only filly in the race, the Ali Rashid Al Rayhi-trained Feriyal and Sandro Paiva receive weight from their ten rivals, but she was a long way behind Raakezz in the 1000m maiden on this card last year.
Rashed Bouresly is saddling his first runners of the campaign, including You’re My Rock and Morrabbi Al Ajjial, the mounts of Fabrice Veron and Bernardo Pinheiro respectively, in the feature.
The field of 11 is completed by Major Cinnamon, representing another handler making a belated start to the campaign is Mujeeb Rahman who is actually still seeking his first UAE winner in what will be his third season with a licence.