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Home > Sports Talk
 
Treble Jig and Haatheq ready to renew rivalry

Hisham Al Gizouli / 28 December 2012

Treble Jig, ridden by Wane Smith, renews rivalry with Haatheq, Paul Hanagan up, for the fourth time, as the two giants lock horns in the 1800m Shadwell Jebel Ali Stakes Prep (Conditions), the highlight of the fifth meeting at the hilly track on Friday afternoon.

Both opponents met three times before, and Treble Jig has had the upper hand in two of them. He beat Haatheq by a length and a half in the Jebel Ali Mile (Listed) up the hill last season, and finished better of him behind Barbecue Eddie in a Conditions event over a mile at the Meydan A/W surface, before they were well beaten by Capponi to finish poor 10th and seventh respectively in the 2000m Al Maktoum Challenge R-3 (Group-1) at Meydan A/W track on the Super Saturday last March.

Treble Jig, Wane Smith up, winning Jebel Ali Mile ahead of Haatheq last season. — KT file

However, it’s widely believed that Haatheq is looking different under former British champion jockey Paul Hanagan and will be given every chance to reverse places with its earlier conqueror.

Haatheq was partnered by Hanagan to smash a small field of seven runners in a Conditions race contested over a mile at Jebel Ali to win by nine lengths before being eased close home last time out.

It’s also argued that Haatheq has a good turn of foot in contrast with Treble Jig’s stamina; and could do the better work in the sprint up the hill.

But, above all, the scenario of the race may interrupt either horse’s strategies and with front runner Jutland making the line up, the battle for the lead could play a crucial role in determining who would put his head first at the busy end.

Trained by Doug Watson at the Red Stables and ridden by Patrick Dobbs in the silks of the Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, the consistent five-year-old son of Halling is a tough and courageous performer who never gives up. And should Jutland manage to win the battle for the lead and settle well, it will be hard to beat.

Trainer Doug Watson likes this horse and said: “I think Jutland is a kind of genuine tough animal, but I don’t know whether he will appreciate the jump in form. Treble Jig loves Jebel Ali Surface and we have to wait to find out what would happen.”

The fifth race, a 1200m Conditions event, is another interesting re-match between Mujaazef and Russian Rock with debutant United Color has an outside chance to strike. A’nnabak W’Rsan, which marks the return of the former champion jockey Ted Durcan who’s looking forward to make it a winning start on seasonal reappearance in the 1400m Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum UAE Breeders Society Challenge, the only Purebred Arabian event on the card.

Durcan may also complete a quick double with seasonal debutant Classic Blade in the 1400m TB Handicap, second race of the afternoon.

Hacienda looks good to land a long overdue victory in the fifth race, a 1400m TB Handicap, though trainer Doug Watson is a little bit worried about the shorter trip.

The final race, a 1200m TB Maiden, is a wide open contest with four horses in with a chance to break the maiden.

And it appears that Fieriness will have the better chance should he manage to reproduce his strong run when finished second behind Momaris over a longer distance at the same course late last month.

hisham@khaleejtimes.com

KT Selections

1- A’nnabak W’Rsan/ Warfah W’Rsan; 2 – Classic Blade/ Kessraa; 3 – Treble Jig/ Jutland; 4 – Hascienda/ Eddie Jock; 5 - Mujaazef/ Russian Rock; 6 – Journalistic/ Fieriness.

Day’s best: Mujaazef

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