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Selvaratnam Hopes My Verse Is On Song As Racing Returns To Jebel Ali

Jebel Ali Trainer Wants Strong Seasonal Debut As Dirt Track Embarks on 21st Season

Jebel Ali, Thursday November 1, 2012: Dhruba Selvaratnam, the Jebel Ali-based handler, is hopeful My Verse can take out the first feature race of the season at his home track.

Shadwell, the UK arm of the breeding empire of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum sponsors the Dh90,000 1,000m sprint handicap as racing returns to the UAE at Jebel Ali on tomorrow (Friday) afternoon.

Selvaratnam, a four-time UAE champion trainer, sounds hopeful of a big run from the race mare and said: “None of these races are easy to win and good prize money attracts strong fields but if pushed I would say she was the best chance we have on the afternoon.”

My Verse, who is owned by Jebel Ali Racecourse owner, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, was second to champion trainer, Ali Rashid Al Raihe’s progressive Mujaazef in the same race last season, after winning it in 2010.

“We know conditions suit and she normally runs well first time out so we are hoping for a good run,” said Selvaratnam.

Mujaazef carried the famous blue and white silks of the sponsor to victory in the race last year, but this time Sheikh Hamdan relies on Hajjaan, trained by Musabah Al Muhairi.

Daragh O’Donohoe takes the ride with Al Muhairi’s stable jockey, Wayne Smith, opting for Celtic King.

Smith said: “They both go well on the track and seem in good form at home so hopefully should be competitive in an open race.”

Al Raihe’s stable jockey, Royston Ffrench, is aboard the top weighted, Hajoum, with apprentice, Saeed Al Mazrooei, on stable companion, Enjoy Dubai, who will be having his first start for the yard having left Mike De Kock’s Blue Stables.

Colourful Score has not been seen since winning a 1,200m course maiden in February 2010 on what was only his third career outing. For an eight year old he is lightly-raced and it looks interesting that connections have persevered with him. He will be ridden by Richard Mullen for his main employer, Satish Seemar.

Al Raihe and Ffrench appear to hold plenty of chances for yet another strong start to the season elsewhere on card. Enjoy Today looks to have the Selvaratnam-trained Moannaa to beat in the opening 1,600m handicap. Dane O’Neill also has his first UAE ride since being appointed as second jockey to Sheikh Hamdan.

Al Mazrooei also has some nice chances. He rides local debutant, Desert Of Dreams, in the 1,000m maiden and, as the only juvenile in the field, he receives lumps of weight from his eight opponents. Having shown a good level of form in Ireland, he could be the one to beat.

The concluding 1,400m handicap is arguably the most competitive on the card with 14 set to face the starter, including the veteran 10 year old, Dahteer, who represents the home team of Sheikh Ahmed and Selvaratnam.

He faces no easy task and is conceding weight to all bar the Satish Seemar-trained Kaiss who is deserted by stable jockey Mullen in favour of stable companion, Moonlight Dash.

O’Neill rides Daboos for his new employer and the Doug Watson-trained five year old looks a big threat along with Ana Emarati, who represents the formidable Al Raihe/Ffrench combination.