William Buick: will partner Emmrooz in the Jebel Ali Stakes on FridayPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Emmroozbids for second Jebel Ali Stakes success
Preview: UAE, Friday 11.25am GMT (Live on ATR)
Jebel Ali: Jebel Ali Stakes (Listed) 1m2f, dirt, 3yo+
THE Dhruba Selvaratnam-trained Emmrooz (William Buick) bids to become the first horse to win the Jebel Ali Stakes twice when he faces 11 rivals in the feature race on Friday.
The first of three Listed races at the course this season, the Jebel Ali Stakes was first runin 1993 and Emmrooz will need to be at his best to take his place in the history books.
Selvaratnam said: "This has been the target since he won the race last year. He then had one run at Meydan before missing the rest of the season injured.
"We had to take our time with him this season so he has only had the one run, over an inadequate trip and he ran well enough.
"He is working well and should give a good account of himself. while our other runner Mulaqat [James Doyle] is a decent second string, but I do feel we have Yirga to beat."
Champion trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe saddlesYirga (Royston Ffrench) who won the 1m1f prep race a fortnight ago when chased home by Ibn Al Nafis (Satish Seemar/Richard Mullen) and Oroveso (Fabricio Borges/Kieren Fallon).
"We are very hopeful and Yirga is in great form," said Ffrench. "He ran well in defeat first time when beaten by a specialist miler and relished the extra furlong last time. This further step up in trip is not a problem and I am really looking forward to riding him."
Al Raihe also runs Glen Nevis (Ahmed Ajtebi), but Oroveso and Ibn Al Nafis look bigger dangers.
Mullen said of Ibn Al Nafis: "We have always really liked him but sadly he missed all last season. He has improved with each run this season and each time we step him up in trip he has stayed on so hopefully the extra furlong will help him."
Also on Friday
There is a 1m conditions race which is a prep for the Listed Jebel Ali Mile in a fortnight.
Otaared (Selvaratnam/Buick) has six Jebel Ali victories to his name but only one over course and distance, while He'sminenotyours (Seemar/Mullen) was impressive here over 7f last time. He merits the step out of handicap company and looks a threat to all.
Richard Hills: "We're hopeful"PICTURE: Mark Cranham
Haatheq (Al Raihe/Richard Hills) was runner-up in the Jebel Ali Stakes last year but is a course-and-distance winner.
This is his first start since March but he can go well fresh.
Hills said: "We are looking forward to getting him back onthe track. I have not sat on him this season but Ali and the team are pleased with him and we know he likes the Jebel Ali surface.
"Otaared beat us over seven furlongs last time but we have a big pull at the weights and have to be hopeful. He is entitled to improve for the outing."