Captain Von Trapp leads Salem bin Ghadayer's challenge in Jebel Ali

Emirati trainer and stable jockey Royston Ffrench join forces again

Emirati trainer Salem bin Ghadayer and his stable jockey Royston Ffrench team up again as racing returns to the Jebel Ali racecourse for the second time in three weeks.

The pair were successful in scoring a double in the curtain raiser and again hold strong claims to replicate that feat on Friday’s mixed seven-race card made up of six prizes for thoroughbreds and one for the Purebred Arabians.

The highlight is the rated conditions stakes over the 1,600-metre distance in which Bin Ghadayer’s Captain Von Trapp will be seeking to give the Phoenix Thoroughbreds their first winner of the season.

The four-year-old Trappe Shot colt was successful twice in his native USA when trained by Steve Asmussen but is yet to get his head in front in three local starts, all attempts in the 2020 Dubai World Cup Carnival.

“He has done well over the summer and this look a good opportunity to get him going for the season and to try him at Jebel Ali,” Ffrench said.

The race has drawn only five runners with three of them trained by Ali Rashid Al Raihe.

Two of them are owned by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid while Zaajer carries the silks of Mohammed Khalifa Al Basti.

Eqtiraan is the choice of Sheikh Hamdan’s retained jockey Dane O’Neill and the Grandstand Stables jockey Connor Beasley is on board Mashaheer.

Doug Watson sends out Gabr, also in the silks of Sheikh Hamdan. He won twice in Britain for Michael Stoute but yet to succeed in four local starts since arriving in Dubai last season.

“He is a nice horse and has been working well,” Watson said. “It is a small field and looks the ideal platform from which to build his season.”

Ghadayer and Ffrench can complete a double with Montsarrat, a two-time winner of the Listed Jebel Ali Stakes, in the main supporting race of the meeting.

The Poet’s Voice gelding was tailed off in the 1,950m race when bidding for a hat trick of that prize in his last start but should bounce back on the return to the track for the first time in the season.

The handicap for horses rated 90-105 has also drawn only six but appears to be a competitive field.

Watson is double handed with Just A Penny and Grand Argentier. Completing the field are Ahmad bin Harmash’s Court Poet, Ismail Mohammed’s Bay Of Poets and Qaiss Aboud’s Yakeen.