James Doyle, the summer appointment as the British-based stable jockey for Saudi Arabia’s Prince Khalid Abdullah, will ride at Jebel Ali Racecourse for the first time this season looking to get that first win under his belt on Friday night at his “home” track.
Doyle will be riding in the Emirates for a third season and is trainer Dhruba Selvaratnam’s first-choice jockey at his Jebel Ali stables.
Doyle arrived last week and has had eight rides across Meydan Racecourse, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi but has had no winners.
At Jebel Ali tonight, Doyle has his best chance yet to pick up his first winner.
He will ride some fancied runners in the silks of Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid.
Forjatt and Sholaan hold strong claims in the two featured prizes on the six-race card – a conditions over 1,400 metres and a handicap rated 85 to 110, the third and fifth races, respectively.
Forjatt rounded off last season with two victories over this course and distance.
Doyle chose to ride him over stable companion Otaared, a winner of six races over the distance at Jebel Ali.
“Otaared is nearly nine now but has done really well for us over the last few years,” Selvaratnam said. “He may need this but seems in good form at home, as does Forjatt.
“He has a penalty, though, which makes his task tougher.”
Alazeyab, one of the three runners in the silks of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, poses the main threat to Selvaratam’s pair in the eight-runner field.
The seven-year-old gelded son of El Prado is the choice of Dane O’Neill, the retained jockey for Sheikh Hamdan.
“He normally goes well fresh,” O’Neill said. “The trainer is happy with him and he goes well at Jebel Ali, which is always a bonus.” Sholaan will need to be at his very best if Muarrab is in the same scintillating form as he was two weeks ago.
Muarrab overwhelmed six rivals in a 1,000m handicap, after which the stable jockey Wayne Smith nominated him as a possible Jebel Ali Sprint runner.
“He was very impressive the last day,” said O’Neill, who takes over the ride.
“You could not help but be much taken with that effort.”
“This is a lot tougher and we will see how good he is.”
Sholaan improved with every run on his season in the UAE. The four-year-old gelding by Invincible Spirit was beaten only two lengths into fifth behind Medicean Man on his first appearance at Meydan.
He was third in his next two starts, behind Russian Rock over the 1,000m trip at Jebel Ali.
Doyle rides Kessra in the first race. The Kheleyf gelding has been a winner five times over the course and distance.
Doyle’s other rides are on Sowaylm in the fourth and Emmrooz in the concluding 85-105 handicap.
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