Russian Rock was the comfortable winner of Friday afternoon's Listed Jebel Ali Sprint, sponsored by Shadwell, the UK arm of the breeding operation of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The five-year-old son of Rock of Gibraltar completed an unprecedented clean sweep of the track's three Listed races this season for his connections.
He is trained by Musabah Al Muhairi for Fathi Esaed Mohd Egziama, as is Treble Jig who had already completed his own piece of history by winning both the Jebel Ali Mile and Stakes this season.
Last season’s champion jockey Wayne Smith has been in the saddle on each occasion and said: "It is a remarkable achievement for everyone concerned; we do not have the biggest yard and the owner literally has a handful of horses with us. Treble Jig goes in the [final round of ] the Al Maktoum Challenge on Super Saturday and it would be great if they could both run on Dubai World Cup night."
He was chased home in the 1000m feature by stable companion Fityaan, one of three seconds on the card for Richard Hills, but the retained jockey for His Highness Sheikh Hamdan was not to be denied his place in the history books and registered his 500th UAE career winner in the penultimate 1800m handicap.
Appropriately, in a race sponsored by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan's Derrinstown Stud, the jockey was sporting his main employer's famous blue and white silks on Mutajare, trained by last season’s champion handler Ali Rashid Al Raihe.
A delighted jockey said: "It is a great landmark to reach and I am so glad to do it when riding for His Highness Sheikh Hamdan who has been so great to me over so many years. Everybody knows I am retiring after Dubai World Cup night and it is brilliant to reach this milestone with only a few meetings left."
Earlier Richard Mullen and Satish Seemar had combined to win the 1400m conditions race with Escape Route, just as they had done last year. This was the horse's first win since and he did it well having arguably been unlucky on his previous outing.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum owns the Jebel Ali course and his trainer Dhruba Selvaratnam saddled the other three winners with Mulaqat's win in the concluding 1950m conditions race the highlight as it was the most valuable of the three.
The easiest of the three wins was that of Tesslam in the 1600m handicap, while Kessraa had to work hard to land the opening 1400m handicap.
All three were ridden by James Doyle who said: "His Highness Sheikh Ahmed and Dhruba were really kind to give me a chance to ride for them this season and I have really enjoyed and learned so much. Pretty much from the outset the horses have run well and things could not really have gone better in my first season here. Kessraa stayed on gamely to land the first but it was much more comfortable on Tesslam who was always travelling like a winner. I was hopeful Mulaqat would go well as he probably needs this trip and he battled hard to get up. It has been a really good afternoon."