Seven races, as has become the tradition this season at Jebel Ali on Friday afternoon, highlighted by a 1600m handicap on what looks a typically competitive and enthralling afternoon of sport ‘up the hill’. The Jebel Ali Racecourse management invited all members of the media, written and television, to a press conference on Tuesday to reveal all the details ahead of the eagerly anticipated fixture. With the overall Pick Seven fund again scooped at the last meeting, the prize on offer this week remains at an enticing Dh40,000 but the Double Tricast continues to prove elusive and that pot has increased to a mouthwatering Dh60,000. 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 at midday, two hours before the first race. Each attendee will be issued a raffle ticket offering them, among other prizes, 130 valuable gifts. Those attending Jebel Ali for the first time this season, please note the 2pm 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 to give them an added edge when seeking to win their share of a whopping Dh121,500 on offer this week in the tipping competitions. As at the vast majority of the 11 Jebel Ali meetings throughout the season, Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell are the main sponsors with this week’s feature carrying the name of Shadwell Farm, the US arm of the breeding empire. The Irish and British farms, Derrinstown Stud and Shadwell, also sponsor one and two races respectively. Speaking on behalf of Shadwell, Mirza Al Sayegh, Director of the Office of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said: “All of the three farms of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan are sponsoring races here because he is very committed to sponsoring racing at Jebel Ali. “It is a track where he has enjoyed a lot of success in the past and continues to do so. He is an ardent supporter of racing around the world and whenever I show him the schedule for the season he just tells me to go ahead and sponsor the races at Jebel Ali. “There are a few really good races planned out here and the racecourse management always do a good job of making sure the arrangements are perfect for the people who come to watch races. So we wish them good luck and we hope fans attending the races will have a very good time.” Racecourse manager Shareef Al Halawani added: “There are a lot of activities planned for families coming over for the races and apart from the action on the track there are a lot of things off the track to keep people entertained. “We would like to thank the sponsors for their support in making this possible.” Yasir Mabrouk of the ERA continued: “It seems a very interesting card with a lot of highly rated horses contesting the feature event. “The other races have full fields with some very interesting names spread out over the afternoon across the many varied distances. “There is a good amount of prize money involved as well so there’s a lot to fight for and I am sure the crowds will be entertained by what they see on the course and off it.” Nicholas Bachalard trains on the Jebel Ali track for racecourse patron, Sheikh Ahmed, and has Jury Duty running in the 1400m maiden. Bachalard said: “This is his first run here but he was a close second in America on his first start. “He has been doing well in training and we feel he might need this race because he is going up against a lot of seasoned horses, but otherwise all is well with him.” Joining Shadwell on the sponsorship roster are Irish Thoroughbred Marketing (ITM), Frayland and MARSH with the combined race value totalling Dh615,000. 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, obviously a total of Dh7,000 this week. As mentioned, 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. 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 Dh121,500. As always, the bulk of this is the Pick Seven fund which is back to Dh40,000 this week, so picking winners can be highly beneficial for any lucky attendee who can find all seven! The Double Tricast, races three and four, has risen to Dh60,000, an increasingly lucrative prize for selection competition enthusiasts to target! 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 traditional 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.