DUBAI // Jebel Ali's 11th meeting of the season today boasts a full field of 16 for the Dh100,000 feature over a mile. Blaze of Fire makes his debut for Mike de Kock in the Shadwell Handicap after transferring from the yard of leading French trainer, Criquette Head-Maarek. The colt boasts solid form in France, winning the Prix D'Orsay over a mile-and-a-half at Longchamp last summer. His last outing saw him run unplaced at Fontainebleau at the end of last season.
"He's coming along the right way for us but he's just not quite good enough for the Carnival," said de Kock's stable jockey, Kevin Shea, who takes the ride today. "We will give him a run at Jebel Ali and see where we are with him. He has been a quality performer in France and we just have to see what he can produce for us here." Of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid's four runners the Erwan Charpy-trained Musleh is the chosen mount of Richard Hills.
With six wins from 12 starts in England he is more than capable but he is a mystery package on the dirt of Jebel Ali. Tadhg O'Shea opted for Aqmaar, another runner from Charpy's yard. He was ninth behind winner Barbecue Eddie at Meydan last week and back on the dirt, will wear blinkers for the first time. If that headgear lights him up as his trainer intends, he will strike a blow here. Satish Seemar's Ibn al Nafis boasts English champion jockey Ryan Moore in the irons. The colt is unbeaten in his two starts and the mile trip is likely to suit him, but he will need to step up in class as well as distance to score.
Jodi, De Kock's filly, who ran out 11th to winning stablemate Raihana in the 1,000 Guineas trial at Meydan's opening meeting, lowers her sights for the Emirates NBD Maiden. email@example.com