Ed Marnane: Racing returns to Jebel Ali for a competitive seven race card on Friday, featuring five handicaps that all have attracted big fields.
Hat-trick chasing Tailor’s Row, who has blossomed for joining Salem bin Ghadayer, is seeking his fourth win at Jebel Ali in Race 4, a 1800m handicap.
By Street Cry, the 2002 Dubai World Cup winner, Tailor’s Row must defy a career-high mark under Royston Ffrench and can be opposed in a wide-open looking handicap.
Shanty Star, trained by Rashed Bouresly, posted a solid effort behind Madkhal at Meydan, a step forward on his comeback at Jebel Ali just six days earlier. Drawn in stall No 4, he should be able to go forward and could be hard to peg back.
Recent course winner Habah is one of four runners representing Doug Watson, a trainer operating at a 19% strike-rate at Jebel Ali this season. She took advantage of a sliding rating when defeating Final Rock and six others on her seasonal debut. She’s entitled to strip fitter for the run and has obvious claims.
Pat Dobbs, Watson’s stable jockey, has elected to ride Native Appeal, six lengths behind Tailor’s Row at Sharjah last month on his second start of the season. Previously Native Appeal, winner of three of his five races at Jebel Ali, made a highly encouraging comeback when close third behind stable companion Galvanize in a competitive handicap at Sharjah. He makes plenty of appeal and is favourably drawn in stall three.
Dark Of Night, trained by Musabbeh Al Mheiri, makes his handicap debut and was last seen winning a modest maiden on his Jebel Ali debut. Ridden by Antonio Fresu, he stormed clear in the closing stages to finally open his account at the twelfth time of asking. He makes little appeal over a trip he’s untested.
Race 3 is a Maiden Plate over 1600m and has drawn a full field of 16 but is a weak contest and won’t take much winning.
Resig, who showed improved form at Meydan on his latest appearance, gets a tentative vote. The form of the race was a given a boost, thanks to the third placed horse Dark Of Light’s victory on his next outing.
In Race 5, the second Maiden Plate, Hurry Up bids to go one better after finishing second behind the promising Mouheeb at the course three weeks ago. Trained by Salem bin Ghadayer, Hurry Up made late progress in the closing stages and with the benefit of that experience, he will take plenty of beating.
The once-raced Nibraas, trained on the course by Nicholas Bachalard, is the chief threat to Hurry Up in the hands of Antonio Fresu, replacing the suspended Ryan Curatolo. He made an encouraging start at Meydan, doing well to finish less than five lengths behind Zhou Storm having been tardy leaving the starting stalls and enduring a tough, wide trip. He’s open to plenty of improvement and warrants plenty of respect.
A maximum field of 16 go to post for the 1400m handicap, race 5, and is a tricky race to solve. Recent course winners Karaginsky and Almoreb will be popular, along with the unexposed Mystery Land who is unbeaten at Jebel Ali. He needs to bounce back after a dull effort at Sharjah, where he trailed in a distance behind Galvanize.
Major Cinnamon, who hails from a small yard, is potentially well-treated off 74, and is a sporting selection at decent odds to open his account on his eighth start. Returning after a 260-day break, he finished a close third behind Raahy and Raakezz, a creditable effort given the winner and runner-up are rated in the eighties. Major Cinnamon improved again when failing to hold off the late challenge of Sadeedd, a performance that deserves to be upgraded as he met minor interference in the closing stages.
Best Bet: No 6 Nibraas [Race 6]
Best Value: No 14 Major Cinnamon [Race 5]
Best Swinger: 4 Native Appeal and 10 Shanty Star [Race 4]
Race 4: 4, 10
Race 5: 2, 3, 14, 15
Race 6: 3, 6
Race 7: 1, 8, 12, 15