24 January 2014

Forjatt Lands Group 3 Jebel Ali Mile for Home Team

Forjatt, trained on the Jebel Ali track by Dhruba Selvaratnam for racecourse owner, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, supplied his connections with a first win in the Group 3 Jebel Ali Mile on Friday afternoon.

That result brought to an end an unprecedented run of victories for Musabah Al Muhairi, during which the Oasis Stables trainer claimed each of Jebel Ali's three main races for the last two seasons as well as this seasons running of the Jebel Ali Stakes - a string of seven wins at Jebel Ali's highest level.

But it was Forjatt who brought all that to an end, Given a supremely confident ride by stable jockey, James Doyle, Forjatt went to the front about 300m out, surging clear of his seven rivals and turning the tables on Al Muhairi's runner-up Colmar Kid who previously set a track record when beating Selvaratnam’s charge in the course and distance prep.

Haatheq, second in this race behind Treble Jig in each of the last two seasons, was third but over three lengths behind the runner-up.

Doyle saluted the crowd as he passed the post over a length clear. “The horse really deserved to win a good prize," he said. "I should have won the National Day Cup on him at Abu Dhabi but could not get clear in time and he flew home to finish third.

“Last time here, in the prep, I thought we were going to get to Colmar Kid but we were giving him weight which counted against us in the final 100m. Today everything went right and I was always happy.

“I have always though he stays 1600m well and he has needed to today. It is a great result for the whole team.”

Selvaratnam, surprisingly winning the 1600m race for the first time, added: “We were very hopeful as he has been unlucky in both starts this year. We will have to look at the Dubai World Cup Carnival now.”

Al Muhairi, may have been out of luck in the feature, a race he was seeking a fourth consecutive win in, but he did saddle half of the other six winners on the card.

Silvestre De Sousa set the ball rolling aboard debutant Damar in the opening 1400m maiden, the pair scoring a comfortable victory to make the perfect start to the horse’s career.

De Sousa said: “I don’t think it was a great race but all he can do is win. Hopefully, he has more to offer after a pleasing performance.”

Paul Hanagan, riding for his main employer, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who also sponsored three races on the card through his Shadwell breeding empire, completed the trainer’s double on Kanaf in a 1400m conditions race.

Recording a third consecutive course and distance victory, Kanaf denied the same owner’s Shaishee, also owned by Sheikh Hamdan.

“It is always nice to pick the right one,” said Hanagan. “It is a great result for the whole team and Kanaf remains in great form but that was a big run from Shaishee also.”

Promising apprentice, Noel Garbutt, was aboard Daar Rashid in the concluding 1200m handicap, Al Muhairi’s charge losing his maiden tag at the 12th attempt.

Doug Watson saddled the other two winners, supplying the runner-up on each occasion for good measure.

Pat Dobbs rode both winners with Henry Clay just denying Hacienda in an 1800m handicap. Both are owned by H E Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum.

Sam Hitchcott was aboard the runner-up on that occasion and suffered the same fate in the 1400m handicap, his mount Mark To Market just failing to catch Dobbs on Firstknight.

Both are owned by EERC (Emirates Entertainment Racing Club).

Watson said: “That has to be considered a good afternoon and two great results for the whole team. We fancied all ours to run well today and all five of our runners picked up cheques with the two winners and second the obvious highlights.

“We will have to see what the handicapper does before making plans.”

Former jockey Lester Piggott was among the enthusiastic crowd.