Watson hoping for more Jebel Ali joy with strong chances aplenty on Friday

Six races at Jebel Ali on Friday for the track’s third meeting of the season, highlighted by a 1200m rated conditions stakes in which Doug Watson appears to hold strong claims, saddling both Al Tariq and Khuzaam, the duo sharing the burden of top weight in a field of eight.

Al Tariq, the mount of Pat Dobbs and a 5yo gelded son of Oasis Dream, was victorious in the 1000m Listed Jebel Ali Sprint before improving on that career best effort when raising his game even further at Meydan, on Super Saturday, when landing the 1200m Group 3 Mahab Al Shimaal.

This seasonal debut is his first start since a creditable sixth in the Group 1 Golden Shaheen, over the same course and distance as his Super Saturday success.

Meanwhile, local and dirt debutant, Khuzaam, has a lofty official rating of 116 having been campaigned in Britain by Roger Varian for the late Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, winning on four occasions, twice in good quality conditions stakes.

A 5yo Kitten’s Joy gelding now racing for his late owner’s Shadwell, he will be partnered by Dane O’Neill who has ridden him once before, the pair finishing a well beaten fifth of six runners, on the horse’s 3yo debut in the Listed Fairway Stakes at Newmarket, after which he underwent wind surgery.

All his wins have been achieved on all-weather surfaces and he has thrice finished runner-up in Listed races on synthetic surfaces.

Watson said: “Khuzaam works well on the dirt here in the mornings and has good all-weather form to his name. Obviously race conditions are different to the mornings but this looks the ideal spot to try him and he is ready for a run.
“The same applies to Al Tariq, it looks the perfect opportunity to get his season started and we know he likes the surface. On ratings, it is the ideal race to get them both going.”

The main dangers would appear to be Leading Spirit for Bhupat Seemar, Ahmad bin Harmash’s Story Of Light, and Madkhal, to be ridden by Adrie de Vries for Fawzi Nass who also owns the 5yo gelding.

Half an hour earlier, six have been declared for a 3yos 1200m conditions contest and again Watson saddles the top weight, Uncle Hamed, like Al Tariq owned by Abdulmohsen Al Abdulkareem and with the assistance of Pat Dobbs.

The Tapiture gelding has run six times, winning twice, including over 1400m here at Jebel Ali on his final 2yo start and a 1200m conditions race for 3yos on his seasonal return 22 days ago, so he is seeing a third consecutive success.

Watson, who appears to have several good chances on the card, said: “He is a nice horse and in great shape. He won nicely first time this season, is proven at Jebel Ali and these races against his own age group really suit him.”

For racecourse patron, Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Nicholas Bachalard introduces debutant Taakeed, a $130,000 Keeneland September yearling and a gelded son of Hard Spun.

Bachalard explained: “There are not many suitable races for him so he is running here because he is ready for a run but it is, obviously, a tough race first time out.”

A course and distance winner a month ago for Ahmad bin Harmash, King Leo will be hoping to build on that and his trainer said: “He is doing very well and came out of that win in great form. This is a jump in class but we want to test him in this better company.”

Second to King Leo was Dignity Joy and trainer Musabbeh Al Mheiri is hoping for a big run on better terms regarding the weights they have been allotted.
“He made a nice comeback last month and has done very well since. If he runs as well as he has been working he must have a chance in what appears an open race.”