All eyes will be on Down On Da Bayou at the Group 3 Jebel Ali Mile race on Saturday.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Jebel Ali Racecourse is set to host one of the foremost events on its calendar this week, with a staggering Dhs1,015,000 on offer during the course of Saturday afternoon at the hill.
A major chunk, in fact, a little over half, Dhs575,000 to be precise, will go towards the Group 3 Jebel Ali Mile, which has roped in some of the best milers in the country.
Last year, the Jebel Ali Mile was won by Salem Bin Ghadayer’s yard, with the Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum owned Blown By Wind winning by a massive four lengths from eventual Group 2 Godolphin Mile winner Secret Ambition.
And the 2022 renewal could once again go the way of the Emirati handler, who dispatches three in the race, with the 2020 UAE Oaks heroine and the in-form Down On Da Bayou looking to help the same owner defend the title. Bannermate Tenbury Hills and Quip, owned by RRR Racing, are the two other names representing Fazza Racing Stables in the race.
Down On Da Bayou, a 5-year-old Super Saver mare, has returned to winning form this season.
Last month, the Ghadayer-trained mare proved far too good for her five rivals and won a conditions prize at Jebel Ali.
Drawn in stall one, Down On Da Bayou romped home by five-and-a-half lengths.
The mare’s previous Jebel Ali victory, on Christmas Eve in the 1600m conditions contest, had been her first since routing five opponents in the Group 3 UAE Oaks at Meydan Racecourse by more than eighteen lengths in February 2020.
“She has come back to form this season, which is great to see,” said Royston Ffrench.
“I think the 1,600-metre is her best trip, and the Jebel Ali Mile would suit,” Ffrench added.
Both Ghadayer and Ffrench had completed a 1600m double at the previous meeting at the Jebel Ali Racecourse, when they combined to win the final handicap with Lahmoom for owners Alqemmah Racing Team.
It would be unwise to consider her the only anointed one, with Doug Watson fielding 2019 Group 2 UAE Derby winner Plus Que Parfait, Bhupat Seemar putting forward Remorse and Ahmad Bin Harmash looking for more joy from Prevent. The three complete the list of favourites in the feature event sponsored by Shadwell.
Also on the sponsorship roll are Dubai Real Estate Centre, ARM Holding, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Al Shafar Investment, Ascana and Jebel Ali Racecourse.
Ahmed Al Shehhi, Jebel Ali Racecourse Organising Committee member, said: “We are ready to host one of the highlights of our racing calendar and the organising committee has got everything in order to put on a perfect show.
“All preparations are in order and the track looks in perfect shape.
“The Organising Committee has always sought to implement the directives of the racecourse’s founder and patron, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, which aim at providing perfect conditions for the races and good hospitality to all those attending the meetings, from racegoers to sponsors and all horse connections.”
Shareef Al Halawani, Manager of Jebel Ali, added: “We thank the sponsors for their valued sponsorship and the Emirates Racing Authority for its efforts and continuous cooperation in developing racing in the UAE and here at Jebel Ali.
“Enriching the quality has always been the top priority of the management and those involved in organising the race meetings here,” Halwani added.