UAE RACEGOERS received the news they had been hoping for on Monday when Sheikh Ahmed’s refurbished Jebel Ali track was given a vote of confidence by jockeys, trainers and stewards alike allowing the course’s biggest meeting of the season, the Jebel Ali Mile fixture, to go ahead on Friday after three consecutive postponements. As always, Pick Seven players are assured to start arriving late Friday morning for this ever popular fixture, long before the 2.15pm first race , undoubtedly encouraged by the 130 valuable prizes to be raffled throughout the afternoon with the first draw scheduled for midday, not to mention the 16,000 free gifts to be distributed at the entrance gates. The Jebel Ali Racecourse management invited all members of the media, written and television, to a press conference on Tuesday at the racecourse, to reveal all the details ahead of the eagerly anticipated fixture. The overall Pick Seven fund on offer this week is an enticing Dh40,000 with the Double Tricast rolling up to Dh25,000 as part of a prize competition grand total of Dh85,000. Considered by many as their favourite UAE racecourse, Jebel Ali is always well attended with the car parks filling up from early morning before the gates are thrown open to greet the public, two hours before the first race. Each attendee will be issued an aforementioned raffle ticket offering them, to reiterate, among other prizes, 130 valuable gifts to be won. Those attending Jebel Ali for the first time in a while, please note the early start time, altered to facilitate the running of the seventh race in daylight. A big, enthusiastic crowd is guaranteed to savour what is often described as a ‘tea party’ atmosphere with plenty of picnicking families, but the Pick Seven players are knowledgeable and will be poring over their copies of Al Adiyat, looking for that vital insight when seeking to win their share of a whopping D85,000 on offer this week in the tipping competitions. After a rare fixture, the most recent to go ahead at the course at the end of November, when they did not sponsor, Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell are back in style and actually back all bar two of the seven races, the featured Dh575,000 Group 3 Jebel Ali Mile carrying the name of Derrinstown Stud, the Irish arm of the Shadwell dynasty. Two races are attributed to Shadwell Farm, the US branch with the other two to be run in the name of Shadwell itself. Joining them on the roster this week are the British University In Dubai and University of Balamand Dubai contributing towards a total prize fund of a whopping Dh1.28 million. Speaking on behalf of Shadwell, Mirza Sayegh, Director of the Office of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said: “Congratulations to Shareef Al Halawani and his team for getting the track back in such good condition. They have obviously worked very hard and been rewarded for that effort. “This is our biggest Jebel Ali race of the season and we are really looking forward to Friday.” Al Sayegh added that Sheikh Hamdan had instructed him to extend the horse painting competition for schools to cover the rest of the six emirates apart from Dubai. “It will be a nationwide contest now with Sheikh Hamdan personally taking an interest in this programme and offering to double the prize money and extend the programmes to schools outside Dubai. Schools across the UAE will now be able to participate in the competition,” he said. Racecourse manager Shareef Al Halawani added: “As Mirza said there has been a lot of hard work undertaken and it has been a great team effort. “It is the mos prestigious race of the Jebel Ali season and we are looking forward, on behalf of Sheikh Ahmed, to welcoming back the public to this most family friendly of racecourses.” Yasir Mabrouk of the ERA added: “We at the ERA are delighted to be back at Jebel Ali for a great card and, of course, their feature race of the campaign which looks a very strong renewal indeed, worthy of the Group Three status and excellent prize money on offer.” Satish Seemar runs three in the feature with stable jockey, Richard Mullen aboard last year’s third Behavorial Bias, Tadhg O’Shea on 2018 Al Bastakiya winner Yulong Warrior and the spare ride on dirt debutant Seniority going to Antonio Fresu. Seemar, who won the race last year with Secret Ambition, said: “All three are in good form. Seniority works well on our dirt track so we are hoping he will take to it. “We know Behavorial Bias goes well at Jebel Ali and the track really suits him.” About Yulong Warrior, O’Shea added: “It is a nice spare ride and I am looking forward to getting on him in a race. He stays further so, hopefully, will be staying on at the end.” As always, the Dubai International Arabian Horse Championship (DIAHC) are donating Dh1,000 to the groom of the horse adjudged the ‘best turned out’ in each race, doubled for the Jebel Ali Mile so a grand total of Dh8,000 this week. To again reiterate, there will be 130 valuable gifts and prizes allocated to the public throughout the day, via a raffle and lucky winning ticket holders also have the chance of winning 25 cash gifts of Dh400 apiece, a total of Dh10,000 with that particular draw conducted after the final race. Again, do not forget the 16,000 extra free gifts to celebrate the fact that it is Jebel Ali Mile day. The main gates, where the free raffle tickets await, open at 10am and the first raffle draw, for 20 of the most valuable prizes, will be made at 12 noon. For Dh10 you can buy the chance to win a Cherry Arrizo3 car, with the winners drawn after the final race, while it is worth reiterating the Pick Seven and other selection competitions offer a combined total prize of Dh85,000. As always, the bulk of this is the Pick Seven fund which is Dh40,000 this week, so picking winners can be highly beneficial for any lucky attendee who can find all six! The traditional free buses are provided from the car parks to the main entrance and special areas are allocated for ladies and families. With the usual big crowd expected, it is recommended to arrive in good time and savour the atmosphere as it builds ahead of the eagerly awaited first race.