DUBAI // Russian Rock defended his championship in the Listed Jebel Ali Sprint on Friday to become only the second horse to win the 1,000-metre dash and, in doing so, just as he did 12 months ago, completed a sweep of the track's three big races.
Ridden by Wayne Smith for Musabah Al Muhairi, Russian Rock was emulating stable companion Treble Jig, who already had defended his crowns in both the Jebel Ali Stakes and Mile.
Both are owned by Fathi Eased Mohd Egziama and last season's achievement of the same connections winning all three was, at the time, unique. "He was brilliant today; I think that was probably his best win," Smith said.
"He and Treble Jig have been brilliant and it is great to be associated with the pair.
"Who knows, they are both only six so hopefully we can have another crack at these races next season. Hopefully, this win will be good enough to get him a run on Dubai World Cup night."
Russian Rock has six victories from his past seven starts at Jebel Ali, and was beaten by a neck by Mujaazef in the one race he did not win.
Smith was also in the saddle on Special Boy, who won a 1,400m handicap, to complete a treble for Al Muhairi, who earlier had saddled Muarrab to win a 1,200m handicap with Paul Hanagan in the saddle for his main employer Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid.
Proceedings opened with a 1,200m maiden and Tadhg O'Shea won on the Abdullah bin Huzaim-trained Backstage Tour. The concluding 1,400m handicap went to Encipher, ridden by Kieren Fallon for the trainer Isamil Mohammed.
One of the most impressive winners on the card was Baransky, who dominated another 1,400m handicap. He is trained by Satish Seemar, and the stable jockey Richard Mullen was in the saddle.
[ @SprtNationalUAE ]