Selvaratnam’s Forjatt Bids to Retain 2014 Crown for Home Team
The rescheduled Group 3 Jebel Ali Mile, postponed following the death of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, is to be re-run on Friday.
The 1600m feature, sponsored by Derrinstown Stud, the Irish arm of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s breeding empire, has attracted a field of ten, most notably last year’s winner, Forjatt.
Trained on the track by Dhruba Selvaratnam for racecourse patron, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, he bids to become the third horse to win the race twice and second horse to land the double in consecutive seasons (Conflict won it in 2001 and then in 2004).
Second on his seasonal return over an inadequate 1600m, Forjatt won his most recent start, over 1400m on the Abu Dhabi turf and looks the one to repeat as he defends his crown.
“He is in great form and we could not be happier with him,” said Selvaratnam. “His first run was very pleasing and he won well last time.
“This is a tougher race though and Silver Galaxy and Shamaal Nibras look two of the main dangers.”
Treble Jig won the race in both 2012 and 2013 for trainer Musabah Al Muhairi and owner Fathi Esaed Mohammed Egziama and the same connections combine with the progressive Silver Galaxy this year. Unraced before the end of November, it took him three attempts to open his account but he has improved continuously.
Third in the 1950m Listed Jebel Ali Stakes on his penultimate start, he has subsequently won over that same course and distance but has won here over this trip – when losing his maiden tag in December.
Stable jockey, Silvestre De Sousa has ridden him in all six starts and maintains the partnership.
“He has done really well this season considering his inexperience,” said De Sousa. “He ran really well in the Jebel Ali Stakes and the drop in trip should not inconvenience him. We are hoping for a big effort.”
Al Muhairi added: “He is a very nice horse and should produce a big run in a good, wide open, race.”
Doug Watson saddles Shamaal Nibras, a 1400m course winner on his penultimate start and second over the same trip at Meydan three weeks ago.
The Rashed Bouresly-trained Jayed Jidan won the course and distance trial and is another to consider under Dane O’Neill, while Satish Seemar saddles three – stable jockey, Richard Mullen, choosing to ride Eavesdropper.
The main support race, the 1000m Jebel Ali Sprint Prep, concludes the seven race card and Al Muhairi will be hoping his Muarrab can concede weight to his nine rivals under Paul Hanagan.
He beat he aforementioned Forjatt on his penultimate start before chasing home Reynaldothewizard in the Listed Dubawi Stakes at Meydan.
He is seeking a sixth Jebel Ali victory and second over course and distance.
The Seemar-trained Take Ten won the Jebel Ali Sprint itself last year and makes his first start since under Marc Monagahn, while Bouresly introduces a fascinating contender in the form of Roaring Forte.
A useful performer in the UK for William Haggas, he has been off the track a mammoth 2010 days (August 2009).
“He is a very nice horse,” said Bouresly. “We have had him over two years and needed to be very patient with him. He is working well and think he will run a big race.”