19 January 2024

ERA Jebel Ali Preview

The Jebel Ali Sprint and Mile Preps take centre stage this Saturday on the ‘Hill’ and, having bought up the significant milestone of 500 UAE winners this season, trainer Musabbeh Al Mheiri could another to the winner’s rollcall in the latter event.

Al Mheiri is enjoying a good campaign with 13 winners on the board and Rawy, 

outclassed in the Group 3 Dubawi Stakes when marginally hampered in the straight, may find a drop in class is the catalyst to a more prominent showing.

The son of Frosted has yet to fully fire in two starts this term but, a return to Jebel Ali where he was runner-up to Sadaaty in a course and distance maiden earlier in his career, and a stiff 1000m could play to his strengths.

Doug Watson is another local handler to enjoy a tidy run of form of late and the 103-rated Khuzaam and Al Tariq form a powerful two-pronged attack on the sprinting feature.

The former, trained in the UK by Roger Varian, blasted away from the front over the mile at Abu Dhabi last time which was never likely to produce the desired result and the marked drop back in trip is likely to yield a more positive outcome for connections.

Al Tariq’s claims arguably look stronger as he was worn down late by the useful Morning at Meydan when last seen (1200m) and his course form figures read 2117.

He isn’t proven over the minimum trip, but displayed enough brazen speed last time to suggest this test looks ideal.




The Mile Prep has also attracted an intriguing field with the unexposed SwingVote, a good winner at Saturday’s venue before New Year at the expense of Tenbury Wells, sure to attract plenty of Pick 7 players.

Swing Vote should again enjoy the prospect of a genuine pace, having been produced perfectly by Cristian Demuro to score over course and distance on his UAE debut.

The handicapper raised him to 102 for that cosy win, but it is worth recalling he finished within five lengths of Arc winner Ace Impact in a Chantilly Listed event (2000m) back in May and is open to any amount of improvement.

The aforementioned Street Mood was given a peach of a ride by Bernardo Pinheiro to score in a Sharjah Conditions event last time and should give another good account if in the same mood.

Track specialists Delorean (form figures 2113 at Jebel Ali) and JusticeProtocol rank highly on the shortlist, even if the latter posted a rather subdued effort at this venue behind Swing Vote last time.

He had previously chased home Delorean (3rd to Swing Vote on his latest start) and there shouldn’t be a great deal between the duo once more.

El Introvertido could prove one of the strongest picks on the card now that he drops in trip on a stiff track for the 1600m maiden. The son of Treasure Beach travelled like a dream in the maiden won by Keffaf here in December (1800m) but appeared to find his stamina taxed in the closing stages. A reproduction of that performance should be enough to see him shed his maiden tag at the eighth time of asking under man of the moment Adrie de Vries. 

The card also features a 0-80 handicap (1200m), a 0-85 handicap for older horses (1950m), a 3yo novice event (1200m) and a well subscribed maiden for Purebred Arabians (1200m).