Fazza Racing’s chief trainer Salem Bin Ghadayer expects another big win from Down on Da Bayou at Jebel Ali Racecourse on Saturday.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Racing at Jebel Ali on Saturday afternoon is highlighted by a pair of conditions races, both attracting proven Dubai World Cup Carnival or horses with aspirations to compete at Meydan’s international jamboree.
Down on Da Bayou, winner of the 1900m Group 3 UAE Oaks at Meydan in February 2020 by almost 19 lengths was successful for the first time since on her penultimate start in a 1600m conditions contest here at Jebel Ali five weeks ago.
Subsequently fourth, beaten just over a length, in the 1600m Group 2 Cape Verdi on the Meydan turf, she is clearly in good heart and looks to hold major claims for Salem bin Ghadayer, Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum and Royston Ffrench in the 1600m conditions race.
Ghadayer said: “We have been very pleased with her this season and she goes to Jebel Ali in good form. We expect another big run.”
Among her six declared opponents, Doug Watson saddles Al Murqab, another course and distance winner having scored in a maiden at the end of October. That does remain his sole career victory, after nine starts, but he has a consistent record at Jebel Ali (other than twice tried over longer trips).
Watson said: “We know he likes it at Jebel Ali and the 1600m is ideal. He has been working well so we think he should be thereabouts in a decent little race.”
On official ratings, the Simon Crisford-trained Erasmo holds serious claims on what will be his dirt debut and just second start for his current connections.
A Group 3 winner in France for Godolphin and Andre Fabre, his first start for Crisford was just last Friday when far from disgraced, finishing sixth in the 1800m Group 2 Al Rashidiya.
Crisford is also set to saddle another fascinating dirt debutant in the earlier 1950m conditions contest in which his Algiers is due to face nine rivals.
A 5yo, he will be having his first start for Crisford and was also previously trained in France by Fabre for Godolphin, winning twice in Listed company.
If taken to the surface, Crisford’s charge will hold serious claims but he is opposed by proven Jebel Ali performers and others with dirt form elsewhere.
From two Bhupat Seemar runners, Tadhg O’Shea partners George Villiers who has won thrice on the dirt at Meydan but also has Jebel Ali form, his two course appearances highlighted by his first when second over this 1950m in a handicap won by course specialist Just A Penny in March 2020.
Pat Cosgrave rides Seemar’s second contender, Irish Freedom, winner of a handicap over 1800m here at Jebel Ali last March. He followed that by landing the 2200m Group 3 Abu Dhabi Championship a fortnight later and rarely runs a bad race.
Ahmad Bin Harmash saddles Mudallel, a course and distance handicap winner last March and a 2200m winner on the dirt at Meydan in early December, his sixth career success and third in the UAE. This does appear a stiff task however.
Among the rest of the field, Ffrench appears to have chosen Tenbury Wells over Rare Ninja for Bin Ghadayer and Gentile Bellini appears to have claims for Musabbeh Al Mheiri and Antonio Fresu.
After being appointed general manager of Jebel Ali Racecourse just a month ahead of the last season, Mohamed Al Ahmed pulled off one of the most successful seasons in racecourse history.
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