A new-look team ready to deliver as racing returns to iconic Jebel Ali Racecourse

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Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

The second meeting of the new UAE racing season is a six-race card at Jebel Ali on Saturday, highlighted by a good-quality 1200m handicap for which 11 have been declared, including Mouheeb for new trainer Michael Costa.

Costa has taken over at the Jebel Ali Stables for Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, also patron of the racecourse, and will be hoping to make a quick start in his new post and is saddling his first UAE runners (four in total) during the afternoon.

Costa expressed his happiness to work and train in one of the oldest stables in the region and said: “I received great support from Sheikh Ahmed, and with the team, we acquired a number of horses of different ages from various sales in the US, along with the arrival of a number of His Highness’ horses from his stables in Britain to be prepared to participate in various races in the UAE.

“At the beginning of the season, I will have about 70 horses in the stable, and we are fully prepared for my first season in Dubai with the yellow stable, hoping to achieve a number of victories and championships.”

The iconic horseshoe-shaped racecourse will host a total of 11 meetings during the season, including three internationally recognised stakes races – the Jebel Ali Stakes, Jebel Ali Mile and Jebel Ali Sprint.

Following the directives of Sheikh Ahmed, the Jebel Ali Racecourse management has also appointed Mohamed Al Ahmad as the new racecourse manager.

Engineer Mohammed Saeed Al Shehhi, Director general of the Office of Sheikh Ahmed and General Manager of Emirates Racing Authority, said: “We are pleased to announce the appointment of the young Australian trainer, Costa, to lead the stable of Sheikh Ahmed, and Mohammed Al Ahmad to be the manager of Jebel Ali racecourse.

“We are confident in the youthful energy and expertise of Costa in training. Besides Costa, the appointment of Mohamed to manage the racecourse signals a new era in the history of the Jebel Ali track and Stables.”

The new racecourse manager, Ahmed, expressed his thanks and gratitude to Sheikh Ahmed for showing confidence in appointing him to this position. He also thanked Engineer Shehhi.

Ahmed, who has extensive experience in the equestrian field and belongs to a family that has been in racing for decades, said: “It’s a great pleasure and opportunity to work as manager of one of the oldest racecourses.” I hope I will be able to do justice to the trust shown by Sheikh Ahmed in giving me the charge of the track.

“I have received great support from the management of Jebel Ali Racecourse, and I will work with the organising committee, and we are confident that we will leave a mark.”

Ahmed’s family has been associated with horse racing for many decades, as his grandfather and father both worked as jockeys.

His father, also named Ahmed, was the record winner of Bahrain’s Kings Cup and Japan Cup.

“Ahead of the new season, we have rebranded the full racecourse.

“The guest area and winners’ enclosure have been given a facelift while maintaining the party atmosphere for the fans,” added the son of the oldest jockey in the region.

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