Ahmed vows feast of racing at Jebel Ali finale


Mohammed Al Ahmed, Jebel Ali Racecourse general manager, is brimming with confidence to make the final meeting of their season a memorable one.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

A cracking seven-event card featuring the 1000m Listed Jebel Ali Sprint, the second and final leg of the inaugural Emirates Sprint Series, has been framed for Saturday’s 11th and final meeting of the season at the Jebel Ali Racecourse.

The listed Jebel Ali Sprint race was won last year by Shadwell’s Khuzaam for Doug Watson and appears to hold a serious chance of successfully defending his crown.

The feature, sponsored by ARM Holding, carries a purse of Dhs500,000 and has attracted a field of 14.

Khuzaam, a homebred 7-year-old gelding, will be partnered by the owner’s retained jockey, Dane O’Neill.

Watson’s stable jockey, Pat Dobbs, was in the saddle when Khuzaam won last year, and, like the American handler, the jockey is also seeking a third straight success in the race and is aboard the 2021 winner, Al Tariq.

Mohammed Al Ahmed, Jebel Ali Racecourse general manager, is brimming with confidence to make the final meeting of their season a memorable one.

Setting an example of dedication, Ahmed, who met with an accident six days ago resulting in fractured ribs and was discharged from the hospital on Thursday, monitored the situation from the bed itself.

Speaking to Gulf Today, Ahmed said: “I am very happy and glad with the success of the season so far. We are all set to host the final and 11th meeting.

“I am delighted that we made changes and improvements in such a short period of time. The process started from day one, when I got promoted and got this role from Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, (patron of Jebel Ali Racecourse).

“I cannot thank Sheikh Ahmed and Mohammed Saeed Al Shehhi, CEO of ARM Holding and Director of Sheikh Ahmed’s office, enough for this opportunity, which took the place and myself to another level. Our target is to improve more and more,” he added.

The Jebel Ali Racecourse management has gone to great lengths to ensure that the season ends on a high note at the ‘family racecourse.’

“We are looking forward to the final race. It will be a huge celebration of racing and full of surprises for the fans.

“There are a lot of prizes and a lot of things happening on the last day of the season on Saturday. I am looking forward to welcoming people to join our final race, which is going to be something unique and exciting for the fans,” Ahmed added.

“The quality of racing, the average number of runners, and the closeness of the competition have all served to showcase the strength of racing at Jebel Ali.”

Meanwhile, Shadwell also has Zawaaya in the field, the mount of Richard Mullen and one of three set to be saddled by Bhupat Seemar.

The 4yo made his local and dirt debut a fortnight ago when fourth in a 1200m Meydan Racecourse handicap but appears to have been overlooked by both O’Neill and Tadhg O’Shea on this occasion.

The latter partners Seemar’s Leading Spirit, impressive winner of a course and distance handicap a fortnight ago, his second success under these conditions.

The third contender from Seemar’s Zabeel Stables, Shamlaan, has the assistance of Pat Cosgrave for what will be just his third UAE outing. Under O’Shea, on his most recent appearance, he was one place and less than a length behind Zawaaya in the aforementioned 1200m Meydan Racecourse handicap two weeks ago.

Runner-up on that occasion was Vasari who should again go well here, Antonio Fresu riding for Musabbeh Al Mheiri, his sole representative in a race the trainer has provided the winner on six occasions since 2007.

For Ahmad Bin Harmash and Ray Dawson, Story Of Light was the impressive winner of the official prep for this a month ago, chased home by Royal Commando, again in opposition.

One of two in this field for Salem Bin Ghadayer, the latter is the choice of Royston Ffrench with Xavier Ziani aboard stable companion Meshakel. Neither can be ruled out in what appears a very competitive renewal.


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