x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Stakes rematch on the cards for victorious horses

Emmrooz and Haatheq on collision course after Jebel Ali wins

Haatheq, pictured under Dane O’Neill, won the Jebel Ali Stakes Prep race on Friday. Pawan Singh / The National
Haatheq, pictured under Dane O’Neill, won the Jebel Ali Stakes Prep race on Friday. Pawan Singh / The National

DUBAI // A rematch of the 2011 Listed Jebel Ali Stakes seems inevitable after Emmrooz, who won that clash, and the runner-up Haatheq both won at Jebel Ali on Friday.

One of three winners on the card for owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, Haatheq won the afternoon’s official feature, the 1,800-metre Jebel Ali Stakes Prep, with the owner’s retained jockey, Paul Hanagan, aboard for the trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

Winner of a similar race at Meydan on his seasonal return, Haatheq also won this race in 2010.

“He is very versatile but does go particularly well here at Jebel Ali, and that was a pleasing win,” Hanagan said. “I guess we will be back in two weeks for the stakes itself and that promises to be a wide-open race this season.”

Awaiting him will be Emmrooz, his conqueror in January 2011, who had failed to win thereafter until yesterday’s 1,800m handicap. Owned by Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid, he is trained by Dhruba Selvaratnam and enjoyed a confident ride by James Doyle.

Doyle said: “I was always travelling best and was happy to take my time before hitting the front..

“That should do his confidence a lot of good. He deserves another crack at the big race.”

Hanagan completed his double when partnering Sheikh Hamdan’s Muarrab to a third course win this season in a 1,200m conditions race. Tracking the early pace, Hanagan went for home just after halfway, and his mount responded well when passed by Doyle on Selvaratnam’s United Color, a runner-up in this race last year, too.

“His other two wins this season were in average handicaps so this was a much bigger ask, but he has produced the goods and shown a really battling attitude,” Hanagan said of Muarrab. “The Jebel Ali Sprint in March is hopefully a realistic target.”

Kanaf, trained by Musabah Al Muhairi and ridden by Dane O’Neill, completed Sheikh Hamdan’s treble in a 1,400m handicap.

Al Muhairi also completed a treble, having saddled Muarrab and provided the UK champion jockey Richard Hughes a winner at the first Jebel Ali attempt with Colmar Kid in the 1,600m handicap.

Hughes said: “He did it well, and what a good start to my Jebel Ali experience. The chance arose when I was at Meydan last week and approached to fly back for this. I was happy to.”

The final race, a 1,400m maiden, provided a memorable moment for the owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, who enjoyed his first thoroughbred winner, along with the trainer Majed Al Jahouri, with Fiscal. It was also a first UAE winner for the jockey Manuel Chaves.