Treble Jig makes history with Jebel Ali win
Report: UAE, Friday
Jebel Ali: Group 3 Jebel Ali Mile, 1m (dirt)
TREBLE JIG continues to re-write local racing history and, for the second year running, won the Jebel Ali Mile, upgraded to Group 3 status for the first time this year having first been run in 1994.
Already the only horse to have won this race and the Jebel Ali Stakes, which he did last year, he has now repeated that double this year when becoming the first to win two Jebel Ali Stakes and the only horse to defend his Jebel Ali Mile crown. He broke the track record, established in 2001, for good measure.
Trained by Musabah Al Muhairi, Treble Jig remains unbeaten in five starts on the course, ridden on each occasion by stable jockey Wayne Smith. As they had 12 months ago, they ran on too strongly for Paul Hanagan's mount Haatheq to supply Al Muhairi a third consecutive winner in a race he landed in 2011 with Snaafy.
Smith said: "He just loves it here and I was happy to take a lead and then commit for home at the top of the long straight. When Haatheq came to him he just pulled out more - exactly as he did last year.
"We will look at the Meydan Carnival next before, perhaps, coming back here."
Connections are seriously considering an audacious crack at the Listed Jebel Ali Sprint in early March, a 5f race they won last year with Russian Rock, in an attempt to land a treble never tried before.
Al Muhairi dominated the afternoon with Smith steering Youm Mutamiez to win the main support race, a 7f conditions contest and Suited And Booted to land a handicap over the same trip. Remarkably, the former champion jockey has now ridden 15 winners on the track from only 36 mounts this season - almost a 42 per cent strike rate.
Harry Bentley had earlier steered Al Muhairi's Special Boy to victory in the opening 6f handicap. He was losing his maiden tag, as was Periphery, winner of the following 1m1f handicap and, obviously, Latkhaf, on whom Royston Ffrench landed the concluding 7f maiden.