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Russian Rock seals rare clean sweep at Jebel Ali

Report: UAE, Friday

Jebel Ali: Jebel Ali Sprint (Listed) 5f, dirt, 3yo+

RUSSIAN ROCK and his connections’ love affair with Jebel Ali continued on Friday afternoon with the six-year-old sprinter becoming only the second horse to defend his crown in the Jebel Ali Sprint.

Only Try Prospect (1996/97) had previously won this race twice but the Musabah Al Muhairi-trained sprinter, under normal pilot Wayne Smith, repeated his win of 12 months ago in the 5f dash to complete another clean sweep of the three Jebel Ali features for his owner Fathi Esaed Mohd Egziama.

The same connections are responsible for Treble Jig, winner of both the Jebel Ali Stakes and Mile in each of the last two seasons. Last year’s clean sweep was unprecedented so a second such achievement is clearly unique.

As was the case last year, Russian Rock arrived here on the back of victory in a course and distance prep a fortnight ago and that proved the key line of form with Kilt Rock and Sholaan chasing him home on both occasions.

Smith said: “What can you say? It has been a remarkable two seasons for us here at Jebel Ali. To win all three big races last year was remarkable but to do so again is unbelievable. They both just love this surface and steep hill finish.

“Musabah and the team deserve a lot of credit for getting both horses here fit and well on each occasion and they have now racked up 11 course wins between them. Hopefully both will be back next season to defend their crowns.”

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