15 December 2023

ERA Jebel Ali Preview

After an opening-day card which saw trainer Michael Costa saddle a sparkling five-timer, two subsequent fixtures at Jebel Ali have yielded a double at each meeting and the likes of Sadaaty (3.45pm) and Meshtri have power to add to those impressive statistics in the feature 1400m handicap (85-105).

The former, one of a host of live prospects this weekend for the Australian handler, is narrowly preferred of the Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum duo, as he appeared to relish the return to Saturday’s venue on his reappearance when chasing home stablemate Mersaal over course and distance in the Shadwell Mohaather Stakes last month.

The four-year-old, ridden like on Saturday by Ben Coen, was a little fresh and exuberant on his comeback and took 400m to drop his head and race.

He still exhibited signs of greenness when coming off the bridle but stuck to his task manfully in the final 200m to eat away at the deficit behind Mersaal and will hopefully strip sharper this time. 

The likes of Shadwell-owned duo Monaadah and Mutaany also look likely to run prominent races and they could emerge as the chief threats to the selection.

The former makes his return to action for an in-form stable which have enjoyed a number of first-time out winners this term, while Mutaany didn’t pull up many trees behind Eastern World over 1200m on his seasonal bow at Shajah but could leave that effort behind back in handicap company here.  


Costa crew could take some stopping

Unsurprisingly, Costa and the bright yellow colours of Sheikh Ahmed have strong chances throughout the card with once-raced filly Moheeba (2.15pm) fancied to make her presence felt in the 1200m maiden, while UK recruit Mojeyrr (3.15pm) in the 0-85 (1200m) handicap.  

The latter, who joined Costa from Archie Watson, might have enjoyed better fortune with the draw, but displayed plenty of pace at tracks such as Southwell and Wolverhampton on a synthetic surface in England and looks the type to pay his way in the UAE this winter. 

A return to Jebel Ali could also prove the catalyst for Wessall (3.45pm) to find the winner’s enclosure in the Emirates Airline Cup (1800m handicap 0-90).

An impressive winner on his UAE debut back in early November, the son of Dark Angel was a little keen behind Book Review at Meydan (Vasilakos 5th) on his latest start, but he remains of interest back at a track which is clearly suitable and he should gain a good tow into the race courtesy of the hat-trick seeking Attribution who has been in great form in recent weeks from the front. 

Just five got to post for the Two-Year-Old Stakes sponsored by CBD (1200m) and Costa and his team will be hopeful of victory for Ma Yetal who makes his racecourse debut.

However, Million Doro (2.45pm) displayed loads of early speed at Meydan 1400m) on his initial start before Mendelssohn Bay ran him down late and he makes plenty of appeal for the in-form duo of rider Connor Beasley and trainer Ahmad bin Harmash now he drops back in trip. 

Trainer Fawzi Nass enjoyed good success at Meydan on Friday returning Watch My Six to the track after just six days off and El Introvertido (4.45pm) looks an intriguing runner in the closing 1800m maiden following his fine effort behind Nevershow Weakness last week. 


O’Brien Ey-ing another win for progressive six-year-old

A typically competitive Purebred Arabian event opens the card and Eyjabi (1.45pm) could follow up his winning reappearance at Sharjah. Trainer Dennis O’Brien is another that his string in fine order and the six-year-old clearly goes well fresh, having won first time out last season at Abu Dhabi. 

The selection renews rivalry with runner-up Octave on revised terms following his neck success in the HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Cup, but his closing effort over the 1700m trip suggests that he can progress again on this stiffer track over this 1950m trip.