Ed Marnane – Dubai: Shamaal Nibras will try to repeat his success of 2018 on Friday in Jebel Ali’s biggest race of the season, the Group 3 Mile.
The races headlines the seven-race card at the Dubai track, which has seen its last three fixtures cancelled due to problems with the surface.
And remarkably, Shamaal Nibras is contesting the Jebel Ali Mile for the sixth consecutive year.
Trained by Doug Watson, he reverts to dirt after a couple of modest efforts at Abu Dhabi. It looks reassuring Pat Dobbs has elected to ride the veteran, having had the choice of the yard’s three-pronged assault.
Stable companion Mystique Moon, to be ridden by Sam Hitchcott, impressed on his last visit to Jebel Ali, winning a competitive handicap earlier in the season and taking his tally at the track to two from just three appearances.
He needs to bounce back after a trailing in a long way behind shock winner Military Law at Meydan on his latest appearance.
Just A Penny, a seven-time winner at Jebel Ali, makes little appeal on recent evidence and doesn’t look the force of old approaching the twilight of his career.
Satish Seemar hasn’t enjoyed success in the Jebel Ali Mile since Parole Board took the prize 13 years ago, the former champion trainer’s fourth triumph since the inaugural running in 1994.
Riding arrangements suggest Behavioural Bias (Richard Mullen) is the yard’s first string. Eight days ago, he caught the eye in a 1200m handicap at Meydan, staying on nicely in the closing stages over a trip short of his best on his seasonal reappearance. Third in last year’s Jebel Ali Mile, he appeals provided he has recovered from his recent exertions behind Bochart.
Seemar has booked Tadhg O’Shea to ride Yulong Warrior, the former Al Bastakiya winner. He has yet to fire since returning to Seemar’s care after a stint in the USA and is readily dismissed on his Jebel Ali debut. British import Seniority faces a stiff task on his local debut for Seemar in the hands of Antonio Fresu, a jockey enjoying a terrific season.
The unexposed and progressive Chiefdom, trained by Salem bin Ghadayer, is a major player. He has thrived this winter and bids for his fourth win of the campaign. Defending an unblemished record at Jebel Ali, he has sound claims of giving his trainer a first success in the event.
Richard Mullen is a notable booking for Dubai Avenue in the three-year-old conditions race, which has attracted a small field despite being reopened on Monday.
Trained by Ali Rashid Al Rayhi, Dubai Avenue dropped away to finish a disappointing last of 16 in the UAE 2000 Guineas Trial at Meydan, having arguably forced too strong a pace. He’s fancied to bounce back over a track he ran well on his local debut in November.
Hamama put up a career best in the Dubai Trophy, nearly causing a massive shock at Meydan 15 days ago, where she was only denied in the dying strides by Platinum Star’s late charge. She rates a leading player of going one better, is unlikely to be hindered by the switch to dirt and could provide her trainer Ahmad bin Harmash with a welcome winner.
The action gets underway with a 1950m handicap and top-weight Cranesbill gets a tentative vote to give weight to his 16 rivals, despite being done no favours with his draw in stall 15. Trained by Erwan Charpy, he reserves his best on his visits to Jebel Ali and looks the answer in a trappy event.
Reverting to dirt following a couple of creditable defeats on turf at the Dubai Carnival at Meydan, Zainhom is attractively handicapped in the 1400m handicap, Race 5. The choice of Jim Crowley of the four runners owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum, he has enjoyed success at Jebel Ali earlier in the winter.
Karaginsky, from the foot of the weights, looks the chief threat for Richard Mullen and his main employer, Satish Seemar. The form of his run behind Dolmen at Sharjah looks solid, the winner was only denied by an unexposed type at Meydan on Saturday.
The closing handicap over 1200m looks competitive, with a maximum field of 16 declared. The unexposed Rayig has improved since switching to Doug Watson, finishing second on his seasonal reappearance before opening his account here in November. He looks on a workable mark back in handicap company and has the assistance of Pat Dobbs, a jockey riding at the top of his game.
Best Bet: 6 Zainhom [Race 5]
Best Value: 1 Farook [Race 7]
Best Swinger: 6 Zainhom and 13 Karaginsky [Race 5]
Leg 1: 1, 2, 7
Leg 2: 1, 2
Leg 3: 4
Leg 4: 1, 2
Leg 5: 6, 13
Leg 6: 1, 8
Leg 7: 1, 5, 7, 8
Jackpot [Races 4-7]
Leg 1: 1, 2, 5
Leg 2: 6, 13
Leg 3: 1, 5, 8
Leg 4: 1, 5, 7, 8
Total R 72
7-2 TAILOR’S ROW; 4-1 CRANESBILL; 6-1 HUCKLEBUCK, WINGS OF GOLD; 8-1 HELLO, ROUGHER, KING’S SHADOW; 10-1 AL BAREZ, HAWKER, EAST ASIA; 12-1 AND BETTER OTHERS.
9-2 RIGHT FLANK; 5-1 RING DANCER, MAZEED; 11-2 UNTOLD SECRET, BOSCONERO; 6-1 BLUE SOVEREIGN; 8-1 ARROWAY; 12-1 AND BETTER OTHERS.
7-2 LEADING SPIRIT; 4-1 POCKET DYNAMO; 5-1 TANEEN, ALKARAAMA; 6-1 SHAJJY; 8-1 RAAFID; 12-1 AND BETTER OTHERS.
22-10 CHIEFDOM; 3-1 BEHAVIORAL BIAS; 9-2 SHAMAAL NIBRAS; 6-1 MYSTIQUE MOON; 10-1 SENORITY; 12-1 AND BETTER OTHERS.
22-10 ZAINHOM; 7-2 KARAGINSKY; 6-1 LYTHAM ST ANNES; 8-1 PORTAMENTO, TADBIR, KARNAVAAL, DREAM WARRIOR; 10-1 ODE TO AUTUMN, PILGRIM’S TREASURE; 12-1 AND BETTER OTHERS.
17-10 HAMAMA; 7-2 DUBAI AVENUE; 9-2 LAST SURPRISE; 8-1 SADEEDD; 12-1 AND BETTER OTHERS.
3-1 RAYIG; 6-1 MAJESTIC THUNDER, DALTREY; 7-1 CIRCLE DREAM, ALRAASED; 8-1 DOMBRA; 10-1 FAROOK, DOSC, GUERNSEY; 12-1 AND BETTER OTHERS.
1 CRANESBILL 2 HAWKER 7 HELLO 5 KING’S SHADOW
2 MAZEED 1 RING DANCER 4 RIGHT FLANK 10 BLUE SOVEREIGN
4 LEADING SPIRIT 1 POCKET DYNAMO 3 TANEEN 6 RAAFID
2 CHIEFDOM 1 BEHAVIORAL BIAS 5 MYSTIQUE MOON 7 SHIMAAL NIBRAS
6 ZAINHOM 13 KARAGINSKY 1 LYTHAM ST ANNES 7 HABAH
8 HAMAMA 1 DUBAI AVENUE 5 SADEEDD 2 LAST SURPRISE
5 RAYIG 1 FAROOK 7 ALRASSED 8 DALTREY