x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Treble Jig dominantes from the front

Trainer Musabah Al Muhairi and stable jockey Wayne Smith were in dominant form at Jebel Ali Racecourse, combining to win half the six races, including the featured 1,800-metre prep race for the Jebel Ali Stakes.

Jockey Wayne Smith, centre, rides Russian Rock to a win at Jebel Ali Racecourse. Antonie Robertson / The National
Jockey Wayne Smith, centre, rides Russian Rock to a win at Jebel Ali Racecourse. Antonie Robertson / The National

DUBAI // Trainer Musabah Al Muhairi and stable jockey Wayne Smith were in dominant form at Jebel Ali Racecourse today, combining to win half the six races, including the featured 1,800-metre prep race for the Jebel Ali Stakes in a fortnight's time, with course specialist Treble Jig.

Now unbeaten in three starts at this track, having registered an unprecedented double in the Jebel Ali Stakes and Jebel Ali Mile last season, he gave weight to nine rivals in style.

Normally a front-runner, Smith was happy to take a lead on this occasion from old rival Haatheq before easing to the front 400m out.

The pair put the race to bed in just a few strides, setting a new track record in the process on an afternoon when the runners benefited from a strong tailwind in the long straight.

Smith said: "He is just a different horse here at Jebel Ali and loves the dirt surface and that steep uphill finish really brings out the best in him.

"He has grown up a lot and is not such a tearaway now so I was not concerned to get a lead.

"He quickened well and it was a good effort under his penalty. We will be back in two weeks for the Jebel Ali Stakes and then hopefully two weeks later for the Jebel Ali Mile."

Haatheq plugged on gamely to finish second having filled the same berth behind Smith's mount in the Jebel Ali Mile last season.

Last term's Jebel Ali Sprint winner, Russian Rock, then won a 1,200m conditions race for the same connections, the pair just denying the fast-finishing United Color.

His listed race victory in March completed an unmatched Jebel Ali feature treble for his connections and Russian Rock will be aimed at a repeat in the Jebel Ali Sprint this season, which takes place on March 8 over 1,000m.

Smith said: "Like Treble Jig, this fellow seems to save his best for Jebel Ali and we will try and find a couple more races for him here before March."

Russian Rock was completing a treble on the afternoon for jockey and trainer who also combined with Trojan Nights to win a 1,600m Handicap.

Tiz Now Tiz Then was another to set a course record, in his case over 1,400m in a handicap with apprentice Marc Monaghan in the saddle for trainer Satish Seemar, while the concluding 1,200m maiden went the way of Need To Know who denied stable companion Latkhaf for UAE Champion Trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe. Harry Bentley rode the winner.

Racing opened with a 1,400m conditions race, the only Purebred Arabian race on the card and Paul Hanagan was aboard winner AF Lafeh for trainer Gillian Duffield and establishing a track record for Purebred Arabians in the process

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