Friday’s highlight at Jebel Ali, a valuable 1400m conditions race, Race 4, sees Salem Bin Ghadayer introduce the exciting Irish import Inverleigh.
Formerly trained by Ger Lyons, he was an expensive recruit for his connections at the Tattersalls July Sale earlier in the year, realising 350,000 guineas (R7m).
Rated 104, he can boast winning form in Listed company at Navan and is lightly-raced having only made six lifetime appearance.
He is well treated at the weights, and should go close if handling the underfoot conditions on his local dirt debut.
Dark Thunder, not seen since struggling badly in the UAE Derby in March, enters calculations as he drops in class for his comeback. Trained by Ahmad bin Harmash, he has the services of the in-form Connor Beasley and is proven at Jebel Ali, winning a minor event on his racecourse debut earlier in the year. He has leading claims in a race few really appeal.
Doug Watson, fresh from making history at Meydan by sweeping the card with all six winners last week, saddles Habah, the only filly in the line-up. She opened her account at Jebel Ali on her final appearance of the season in March, defeating Starry Eyes and six others when showing a likeable attitude. Hailing from a yard firing on all cylinders, she clearly warrants respect over a course that holds no fears.
Former champion trainer Satish Seemar is responsible four of the ten runners. Jockey bookings suggest Gaudi is the yard’s first string with stable jockey Richard Mullen booked. Earlier in the year he failed to sparkle on his UAE debut at Abu Dhabi when beaten a long way in a 14-runner handicap. Switching to dirt and returning from a lengthy layoff, he makes little appeal on today’s terms.
Thirty minutes earlier Watson and Pat Dobbs team with Dark Thunder in the 1600m maiden, Race 3. Handed a stiff task on his local debut in the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial, he has run well in defeat in maidens since, including at Jebel Ali. This represents his easiest task since leaving British trainer Tom Dascombe, and he should take plenty of beating.
The frustrating Compliance extended his record to 0-17 on his seasonal debut at Jebel Ali two weeks ago, trailing in a remote eighth of 14 behind Cranesbill. Dropped in to maiden company, he can easily bounce over a track he has run second in all his six appearances last season.
Tafaakhor and Dolmen fought the finish of a recent handicap here, with the former proving a length and half too strong for Satish Seemar’s four-year-old. They renew rivalry in the finale, a 1950m handicap in which only five have declared despite the race being reopened. The unexposed Dolmen is fancied to get his revenge and open his UAE account in the hands of Richard Mullen. He’s weighted to turn the tables and will enjoy the step up in distance today.
Course specialists Cape Of Eagles and Bois De Boulogne also merit respect in a trappy handicap. The last-named makes a quick reappearance after a creditable third behind Tried And True at Meydan eight days ago. Provided he has recovered from those exertions, he won’t be far away looking to take his tally to four at Jebel Ali.
The opening handicap, run over a distance of 1200m, Race 2, is arguably the most competitive race of the afternoon. Mutawakked, Private Ryan and Tabernas, all winners on their most recent visit to Jebel Ali, are entitled to go well.
The unexposed maiden Galaxy Road makes his handicap debut and doesn’t look badly treated off a mark of 69. His comeback, over today’s course and distance, two weeks ago was pleasing effort on the back of a 266-day break. He can reward backers at decent odds.
27-10 SHAWALL; 3-1 SS RABEH; 7-2 AF KAL NOOR; 6-1 SALLAL AL REEF, JAP PAROUT, LAHEEB AL REEF; 8-1 AF DOSTOOR, AF AJWAD, NADER W’RSAN; 12-1 AND BETTER OTHERS.
7-2 MUTAWAKKED, 9-2 PRIVATE RYAN, TABERNAS; 5-1 EJBAAR; 6-1 DALTREY; 8-1 GALAXY ROAD; 10-1 KIDD MALIBU; 12-1 AND BETTER OTHERS.
15-10 DARK THUNDER; 5-1 ANTIMO, EAST ASIA; 6-1 CHIEFDOM, COMPLIANCE; 8-1 CALIFORNIA JUMBO; 12-1 AND BETTER OTHERS.
15-10 INVERLEIGH; 17-10 GOLDEN JAGUAR; 7-2 HABAH; 8-1 GAUDI, TADBIR; 10-1 RECORDMAN; 12-1 AND BETTER OTHERS.
3-1 GALESBURG; 7-2 BAWAASIL; 5-1 ARIDITY; 7-1 ZAINHOM, UNTOLD SECRET, MASHAHEER; 12-1 AND BETTER OTHERS.
22-10 INITIAL; 4-1 MUJEEB; 6-1 RIGHT FLANK, SERENGETI SKY, DRESS COAT; 10-1 AL BAREZ; 12-1 AND BETTER OTHERS.
27-10 TAFAAKHOR; 3-1 DOLMEN; 7-2 BOIS DE BOULOGNE; 4-1 CAPE OF EAGLES; 12-1 AND BETTER OTHERS.
12 SHAWALL 5 AF KAL NOOR 11 SALLAL AL REEF 13 SS RABEH
8 GALAXY ROAD 11 MUTAWAKKED 5 TABERNAS 9 KIDD MALIBU
12 DARK THUNDER 7 EAST ASIA 3 CHIEFDOM 1 ANTIMO
1 GOLDEN JAGUAR 9 HABAH 2 INVERLEIGH 3 GAUDI
5 GALESBURG 1 ARIDITY 4 ZAINHOM 2 BAWAASIL
4 INITIAL 1 MUJEEB 8 DRESS COAT 7 SERENGETI SKY
5 DOLMEN 2 BOIS DE BOULOGNE 4 TAFAAKHOR 3 CAPE OF EAGLES
Best Bet: 5 Dolmen [Race 7]
Best Value: 4 Zainhom [Race 6]
Best Swinger: Dark Thunder and Chiefdom [Race 3]
Jackpot [Races 4-7]
Leg 3: 1, 9
Leg 4: 1, 4, 5
Leg 5: 1, 4, 7, 8
Leg 6: 5
Total R 24