Thegreatcollection Leads Watson Treble At Jebel Ali

Racing at Jebel Ali on Friday afternoon, a bumper eight race card, was is highlighted by the third renewal of the Jebel Ali Classic, a 1400m conditions race won in its inaugural year 2017 and again 12 months ago by Shamaal Nibras. The EERC (Emirates Entertainment Racing Club) 11-year-old looked set to win his final race before retirement in style, only to be denied on the line by stable companion Thegreatcollection. Trainer Doug Watson has now won the race in all four years it has been contested, having won the 2018 edition with Cosmo Charlie. Adrie de Vries partnered the winner, denying Watson’s stable jockey, Pat Dobbs, aboard the admirable veteran who looked the likely winner when hitting the front 300m out.

The main support race, also over the straight 1400m, was a conditions contest for 3yo fillies and won in style by Madame Ellingtina, ridden by Richard Mullen for Satish Seemar. Previously a maiden after two starts, the daughter of Helmet tracked the early pace before hitting the front with about 275m remaining after which she never looked likely to be caught. She was completing a double on the card for Seemar, who had earlier combined with Tadhg O’Shea to land the opening 1800m handicap with Touch Gold Racing’s Majestic Thunder. Settled in midfield throughout the early stages, the 5-year-old Dubawi gelding, cruised into contention halfway up the long straight before hitting the front inside the final 450m after which he was never going to be denied.

Thegreatcollection’s victory was actually a third consecutive one on the card for Watson, who had earlier saddled Just A Penny, under Sam Hitchcott and Native Appeal, the mount of Dobbs, to win for Mohd Khalifa Al Basti. The former, an 8-year-old gelded son of Kodiac, ran out the easy winner of a 1950m handicap, having stalked the early speed before pouncing with about 350m remaining. It was an eighth Jebel Ali victory, second over this trip, for the horse.

Meanwhile, Native Appeal was winning for a third time this season at Jebel Ali, under three different jockeys when recording his second 1600m course handicap. Settled midfield by Dobbs, the 5-year-old Exceed And Excel gelding was committed for home 250m out and soon had the race in safekeeping.

Oktalgano, trained by Salem bin Ghadayer for HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum. Confidently ridden just behind the leaders by Xavier Ziani, the Street Sense colt quickened nicely in the final 250m to run out the convincing winner of a 1600m maiden restricted to 3-year-olds.

The finale, a 1000m handicap, was another winner for Rashed Bouresly, who has hit a real purple patch, this time with Shanaghai City under Jesus Rosales. Thirty minutes earlier, Mystery Land and Fabrice Veron ran out the comfortable winners of a 1400m maiden for Helal Al Alawi.