Treble Jig out to defend Jebel Ali Mile crown
Preview: UAE, Friday
Dubai: Jebel Ali Mile (Group 3) 1m, dirt (11.15am GMT)
JEBEL ALI stages a Group 3 contest for the very first time, as Treble Jig (Musabah Al Muhairi/Wayne Smith) seeks to become the first horse to defend his crown in the 1m feature he won last year which has since been upgraded from Listed status.
Conflict won the race twice (in 2001 and 2004 for different trainers) but no horse has won the race in successive years, and Treble Jig is already the only horse to have won the Jebel Ali Stakes twice, as well as the only winner of both the Stakes and Mile.
He has won all his four starts on the track and his regular jockey Wayne Smith is looking forward to trying to make it five.
He said: "The Stakes and this race again have always been the main targets and he is in great form. He is a different horse when he steps on that Jebel Ali trick with the dirt surface and steep uphill finish really suiting him. He has to go very close."
Pat Dobbs takes the mount on stable companion Atlantic Brave (Musabah Al Muhairi), third last year and second to another stablemate Snaafy in this race in 2011.
Paul Hanagan rides Haatheq for his main employer Sheikh Hamdan and champion trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe. He was second in this last year and won the course and distance prep a fortnight ago.
Capital Attraction (Ernst Oertel/Tadhg O'Shea) was also a winner here two weeks ago and followed up that 7f handicap victory by winning at the Meydan Carnival last week.
It will be a third quick run for the six-year-old and Tadhg O'Shea said: "He is improving, in great form and handles the surface well. We will find out how much he has improved because Treble Jig is a good horse at Jebel Ali."
Dhruba Selvartnam trains Dormello (Kieren Fallon) on the course and his charge should have come on a lot for his first local when fifth to Haatheq in the prep two weeks ago.