By Duane Fonseca
Doug Watson and Adrie de Vries combined to land the feature at Jebel Ali Friday afternoon with Thegreatcollection, whose class showed amply at the hill at the first time of asking in the Jebel Ali Classic (Silver Jubilee) over 1400m.
A number of top divisional names that have been regular winners at Jebel Ali were part of the conditions event, but the 6yo Saint Anddan gelding showed a great turn of foot under a hard riding De Vries to deny stable companion and the much-fancied Pat Dobbs ridden Shamaal Nibras, who was retired after the race at the age of 11.
The margin of victory was a short head as Thegreatcollection won the battle of the bobbing heads on what was virtually the last stride. In third, a further length and a half behind, was Satish Seemar’s Fabrice Veron ridden Ode To Autumn.
It was a victory that completed a hat-trick for the Red Stables boss who won three straight races starting with Sam Hitchcott’s victory aboard Just A Penny in the 1950m handicap. Pat Dobbs rode in with a second success when claiming the 1600m handicap aboard Native Appeal.
The three wins looked superb but Doug, who started the day 10 behind UAE Champion Trainer’s table topper Seemar, was able cut the deficit by just one after the latter won a brace starting with the opening race of the day the 1800m handicap which was claimed by Majestic Thunder with Tadhg O’Shea up.
Seemar’s second success on the card was achieved by Richard Mullen with Madame Ellingtina who won the 1400m conditions event and shed her maiden status in the process on her third career start. A length and quarter in second was stablemate Amani Pico with O’Shea up, while Early Motion took third for Mussabeh Al Mheiri under Antonio Fresu a further length and a half behind.
Salem bin Ghadayer’s Oktalgano notched his first career success on his fourth start in the 1600m maiden, with Helal Al Alawi and Veron landing the 1400m maiden with Mystery Land.
The final race of the card was won by Rashed Bouresly’s Shanaghai City with Jesus Rosales aboard.