Local favourite Russian Rock back in action
Preview: UAE , Friday
RUSSIAN ROCK, winner of the Listed Jebel Ali Sprint in each of the last two seasons for trainer Musabah Al Muhairi and jockey Wayne Smith, makes his seasonal return on Friday in a conditions race over the same 5f course and distance as his Listed victories.
He is penalised for last season's Listed win and Smith said: "He has a penalty which obviously makes the task tougher but he is in good form at home and these are his optimum conditions.
"He will run well but will certainly improve for this run."
His six rivals are headed by Kilt Rock and Sholaan, second and third in the 2013 Jebel Ali Sprint behind Russian Rock.
Trained by Doug Watson, Kilt Rock, the mount of Pat Dobbs, is facing Russian Rock, for the eighth time. He has yet to finish in front of his nemesis, with Russian Rock actually winning seven of those clashes.
Justin Byrne, representing Kilt Rock's owners EERC (Emirates Entertainment Club) said: "Maybe this is our day; we have the advantage of a run this season and we were pleased with his effort over seven two weeks ago. We are also getting weight from Russian Rock and will certainly give him a run for his money."
Apprentice Thomas Brown rides Sholaan, trained on the course by Dhruba Selvaratnam, with the young jockey seeking his 70th career victory. He has five rides on the card and could well lose his claim in the UAE.
Russian Rock's only course defeat since late 2011 was in this race last year, when second to Mujaazef (Kilt Rock 3rd) who also won this contest in 2011. Dane O'Neill rides for Ali Rashid Al Raihe.
The official feature is a conditions race over an extended 1m1f and Brown rides 2011 Listed Jebel Ali Stakes winner Emmrooz for Selvaratnam. He has been off for well over a year though and Watson's Jutland looks a more likely winner with Richard Mullen's mount, Farrier, trained by Satish Seemar, a big danger.