Dubai Carnival possibles in action at Jebel Ali
Preview: UAE, Friday
WITH the Dubai Carnival only six days away, trainers are taking advantage of the Jebel Ali meeting rescheduled from last Friday to get runs into some likely types ahead of the $31m jamboree at Nad Al Sheba.
Friday's card was postponed after the death of the ruler of Sheikh Rashid Bin Ahmad Al Mualla, the ruler of the emirate Umm Al Quwain.
Now local trainers are hoping to saddle a winner capable of claiming a last-minute berth for the carnival.
Twelve have been declared for the featured 1m handicap with the Erwan Charpy-trained Great Plains heading the weights but overlooked by Richard Hills, retained by owner Sheikh Hamdan.
Richard Hills: will ride MostashaarPICTURE: Mark Cranham
As he did a week ago, Hills has elected to ride a Doug Watson runner, but it is Mostashaar who has been declared, instead of Iqte Saab seven days previously.
Watson's runner has been off the track since February 2007 and is unproven on dirt. "The week makes a big difference with carnival plans already laid for the likes of Iqte Saab and Dubai Honor, who we have not declared either," said Watson.
"Mostashaar is ready for a run but will come on for it. He handles the dirt at home."
Similarly, Dhruba Selvaratnam, who trains on the track, has declared only Mulaqat this week, having also had course specialist Mannjal in the race last week.
Yet to prove as good on dirt as he is on turf, this looks like a perfect race to put him spot-on for the carnival.
Ali Rashid Al Raihe has enjoyed a great first half ofthe season and Jaffal is feared on his seasonal debut, while first-season trainer Abdulla Bin Huzaim will be hoping that Plavius can improve his rating significantly to qualify for the carnival.
Mike De Kock saddles Musaytir, a winner in Australia, in the concluding 5f sprint, but the five-year-old is entitled to need the outing having been off almost 600 days.
"He is a speedy sort but the trip will be sharp enough, although the steep hill will offset that to some extent," said De Kock. "He will improve for the outing."