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Jebel Ali Dirt Mile Headlines Friday Night in Dubai


A cadre of seasoned Dubai veterans are set to contest this listed contest at Jebel Ali on Friday. While Meydan is usually getting all the plaudits at this time of the Dubai racing season, it’s dirt-oriented cousin Jebel Ali still manages to boast plenty of quality action.

A fair portion of the contenders here have had outings at Meydan this season and the big variable here is likely to be how good of a reference the Meydan to Jebel Ali turns out to be. A certain amount of punters may be tempted to stick with proven dirt form over some of the higher-ratings shipping over from Meydan. Most of the Meydan contenders don’t boast winning form.

The biggest culprit appears to be Snaafy (Kingmambo) and the seven year-old horse won his Meydan debut last February in handicap company but then stepped up a bit too ambitiously to get stuffed at Grade 1 and 2 level. His Meydan debut this season in a handicap proved to be supremely underwhelming with an eleventh-place finish in a field of fourteen. He ran in the last Dubai World Cup that went off over the dirt at Nad Al Sheba, finishing seventh to the talented Well Armed (Observatory). He’s won at Jebel Ali in the past and he looks a lot sharper over dirt than synthetic and he stands head and shoulders above the rest of the field, from a ratings standpoint.

Tayyab (Belong To Me) took the Rotary Club Handicap at Jebel Ali three weeks ago with Wayne Smith aboard for the trip. He’ll likely be going off at a much-higher price than the 6/1 he scored at last time. He’ll be coming into the race with momentum but needs to find his absolute best in order to factor into the equation here.

Otaared (Storm Cat) is likely the selection from the Jebel Ali-based contingent. He hasn’t finished off the board since last February and he’s taken a pair of scores at Jebel Ali in the past three months. His switch to Kieren Fallon has been seemless with the pair achieving career-best figures together. His late kick could prove a decisive factor if he gets a fast early pace to aim at.

Atlantic Brave (Piccolo) took four from five at Jebel Ali before switching over to Meydan only to get absolutely stuffed in the Dolce Vita Turf Handicap. He managed to achieve a career-high 105 OR despite coming dead-last in a field of 16 in his first grassy race. You’ve got to throw that one out as an experiment by some ambitious connections. The five year-old still has room to improve and his 100 OR in his last Jebel Ali attempt gives punters more than one reason to back him.