Feature Story



Hard to believe but we are already at the final fixture of the Jebel Ali campaign, highlighted by the 1000m dash, the Listed Jebel Ali Sprint, won last year by Shadwell’s Khuzaam for Doug Watson and appearing to hold a serious chance of successfully defending his crown. Among the main threats will likely be stable companion Al Tariq who landed the race in 2021 so Watson is seeking a third consecutive success in the race, one that has had plenty of dual winners over the years.

Road Bloc, having won a 1200m conditions race at Sharjah can claim connections a valuable bonus: that race was the first leg of the Emirates Sprint Series, a Sheikh Ahmed initiative, with this being the second race in the series.

That success was his career best by some way and he has cut little ice in two subsequent outings, both at the carnival. He also has to prove he has the natural dash to cope with some of these genuine speedsters, as well as that he can handle this new surface and the hill. The incline may help though and, if he takes to the new surroundings, he may well have a say in the finish. Good luck to connections: trainer Osama Refai, owners Sayed Hashish and Mrs Hannah Refai.

Story Of Light was the impressive winner of the course and distance prep a month ago and has to be feared for Ahmad bin Harmash as does Royal Commando, runner-up on that occasion and subsequently third in a 1200m carnival handicap.


It is not all about speed though with a strong supporting undercard headed by the 1400m Jebel Ali Classic with Secret Ambition a particularly notable name among a classy entry for this conditions contest. The Group 3 Jebel Ali Mile winner of 2019, his main claim to fame was achieved on the 2021 Dubai World Cup card when victorious in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile.

That remains his most recent success. Runner-up in this year’s Jebel Ali Mile, he was well beaten on Saturday in the Burj Nahaar. Trained by Bhupat Seemar, the veteran, now a 10yo, is joined by stable companion Rodaini. Seemar has provided the two most recent winners, including this fellow in 2021.

For Watson, who also has a good record in this contest, having saddled the first four winners of this race, including Thegreatcollection in 2020 who will be seeking a repeat. He denied the inaugural 2017 and 2019 winner, Shamaal Nibras on that occasion. Fourth in that 1600m Burj Nahaar was Celtic Prince, continuing the rich vein of form of the horses running for Rashed Bouresly in the Bouresly Racing Syndicate silks.

Both his career victories have been over 1600m, most recently here up this hill, but he is another to have been placed over track and trip. Watson duo Awasef and Asawer, with preference for the latter, could be the pair to concentrate on in a 1400m conditions contest for 3yo fillies.


Race 1: Margham
Race 2: Justice Protecol (NB)
Race 3: Sikorsky
Race 4: Celtic Prince (Nap)
Race 5: Khuzaam
Race 6: Awasef
Race 7: National Bank