x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Chance of a flying start for Al Raihe

Ali Rashid Al Raihe, the three-time UAE champion trainer, has a strong presence in the opening meeting of the season at the Jebel Ali Racecourse.

Jockey Saeed Al Mazrooe.
Jockey Saeed Al Mazrooe.

Ali Rashid Al Raihe, the three-time UAE champion trainer, has a strong presence in today's opening meeting of the season at the Jebel Ali Racecourse.

He has 14 entries in the six-race card and starts his campaign with three runners in the opener in which Enjoy Today looks to be the top pick under the stable jockey Royston Ffrench in the silks of Jaber Abdullah.

Mutual Force will be ridden by the stable's Emirati apprentice Saeed Al Mazrooei, while David Smith is on Forest Runner.

Al Raihe is double-handed in the featured race in the card with Hajoum and Enjoy Dubai, who is having his first run for the stable after moving from Mike de Kock's Blue Stables. However, the Jebel Ali-based trainer Dhruba Selvaratnam's My Verse would be the one to beat on her home track in the Dh90,000, 1,000m Shadwell sprint handicap.

"None of these races are easy to win and good prize money attracts strong fields but if pushed I would say she was the best chance we have on the afternoon," Selvaratnam said of the six-year-old mare by Exceed And Excel.

Mujaazef carried Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid's silks to victory in the race last year, but this time the owner is relying on Hajjaan, trained by Musabah Al Muhairi.

Daragh O'Donohoe takes the ride with Al Muhairi's stable jockey, Wayne Smith, opting for Celtic King.

"They both go well on the track and seem in good form at home so hopefully should be competitive in an open race," Smith said.

 

apassela@thenational.ae