Treble Jig looks set to earn another stripe.
Mosabah Al Muhairi's stable flagbearer first made history last season while becoming the first horse to win both the Jebel Ali Stakes and Jebel Ali Mile. Today, he bids to repeat the feat by winning the Mile for the second straight year, having already won the Stakes on January 11.
Standing between him and another significant record are eight rivals including Htheq and Atlantic Brave -- who claimed second and third place behind him in the contest 12 months ago when it was run as a Listed event.
Al Muhairi is relishing the prospect of Treble Jig pulling off a second straight Jebel Ali Mile success and said: "This is what every trainer aspires to achieve. When you have a horse like Treble Jig, who is one hundred per cent genuine, you can aim for the stars.
"He loves racing here at Jebel Ali and I think he deserves every success he has achieved. He's at his best at this track and I'm hoping that he can win the Jebel Ali Mile for the season year as well."
Jockey Wayne Smith, who has ridden Treble Jig to all his four glorious victories at track described his star as being a aACAydifferent horse' at Jebel Ali.
"It goes without saying that he just loves Jebel Ali -- the surface and the hill," he said shortly after winning the Jebel Ali Stakes. "He's a different horse here and once he hits that hill he finds top gear and a real surge of power. I hope he can defend his crown in the race, before we look at the Dubai World Cup Carnival."
Ali Rashid Al Raihe, who prepares Htheq, the winner of the prep over this course a forthnight ago, is hoping his horse can improve and reverse the tables on Treble Jig who has already claimed a confidence-building win over him earlier in the season.
One of the main threats to the fancied horses could come from the in-form stables of Abu Dhabi-based Ernst Oertel, who saddles Capital Attraction, a winner at both Jebel Ali and Meydan this season. The handler said of his ward:"He is certainly in great form and improving but this is obviously a much stiffer test and Treble Jig very much looks the one to beat."
Dormello, trained on the track by Dhruba Selvaratnam, can make his trainer proud by upsetting the odds to win the newly-promoted Mile. "He will have needed that run," said Selvaratnam. "Treble Jig is going to be hard to beat but it is a great day for all of us involved with Jebel Ali to have this race raised to Group 3 level."
Meanwhile, Selvaratnam looks to have a big chance of capturing the main support race on the card, a 1,400m Conditions event with United Colour. A Group 3 winner in Italy United Colour was narrowly beaten by 2011 Jebel Ali Sprint winner Russian Rock in a similar race earlier this month.
Al Muhairi is also responsible for Youm Mutamiez and Straight Talk, while South African handler Mike De Kock makes a rare appearance at Jebel Ali to saddle Royal Ridge, the mount of Paul Hanagan.
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