Dubai: Jebel Ali Racecourse hosts its penultimate meeting of the season on Friday featuring a competitive six-race card which is highlighted by the 1800m Shadwell Farm Handicap.
Despite attracting a small field of six horses the feature looks hard to assess with all contenders appearing to have a fighting chance.
However, course and distance winner Interconnection looks good value now that he returns to handicap company following an unsuccessful attempt in the Listed Jebel Ali Stakes, won by his stable companion Montsarrat.
Xavier Ziani, riding for retaining trainer Salem bin Ghadayer, said: “He is proven under these conditions which is always a bonus at Jebel Ali and seems in top form at home.
“It may be a small field but is still looks a hot little race.”
Among the contenders is Doug Watson’s veteran Storm Belt and Interpret, winner of the Jebel Ali Stakes in 2014, who represents Musabah Al Muhairi.
Discussing Storm Belt’s chances, Watson said: “This looked a good spot for him for in what will be his last race of the season.
“He is working well and is proven up the Jebel Ali hill. We are expecting him to run well in what looks a competitive race despite the small numbers.”
Interpret, a half-brother to 2007 Dubai World Cup winner Invasor, has won twice since his most famous 2014 Jebel Ali Stakes victory.
The top weight is Good Trip, trained by Ali Rashid Al Rayhi and the mount of stable jockey Tadhg O’Shea who won on him on his penultimate start in a turf handicap at Meydan.
O’Shea said: “He was perhaps disappointing last time but his win before that was a good one and hopefully he is still in that kind of form.
“He has won at Jebel Ali, so has that course form which is always a good thing as not all horses handle the conditions. Looking at the field I think Interconnection and Storm Belt are the two to beat.”
The Rashed Bouresly-trained Round Two and Erwan Charpy’s Mudaarab complete the field.
The latter is the mount of Jim Crowley and is trained by Erwan Charpy for Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, who sponsors the race through his Shadwell Farm, the US arm of his Shadwell breeding empire.
Race 1: 1. Flashy Snapper, 2. Au Coeur
Race 2: 1. Elsaakb, 2. Untold Secret
Race 3: 1. Interconnection, 2. Mudaarab
Race 4: 1. Denzille Lane, 2. Salvadori
Race 5: 1. Alraased. 2. Pupil
Race 6: 1. Layaspin, 2. Qadiriyyah