Selvaratnam Sets Out Dubai World Cup Carnival Stall With Roicead Sprint Victory

Roicead (USA)
Photo: Erika Rasmussen (

Jebel Ali Trainer Lands Second Meydan 1200m Race in Two Meetings

Dubai World Cup Carnival clues were on display at Saturday’s Racing at Meydan meeting, with impressive sprint victor, Roicead and 1600m winner, Jawhar landing notable wins in the two turf handicaps.

Dhruba Selvaratnam and stable jockey, James Doyle, fresh from their big race win with United Color in Thursday’s Listed Dubawi Stakes, added another eye-catching victory with Roicead in the 1200m handicap, the first of the grass races.

Never far off the pace, Doyle sent his mount to the front fully 300m out and once the pair showed a decisive burst of speed the result was never in doubt, with Doyle even easing up 50m out.

An excellent fourth over 1000m on the turf at the opening meeting of the Dubai World Cup Carnival, Roicead, rated 99, was dropping in class here but, as a result, had to give weight to his 13 rivals.

Selvaratnam said: “We were very confident going back up to the 1200m trip and dropping in class. It was a great run two weeks ago and we knew he would be hard to beat here.”

The second turf handicap, over 1600m, produced a track record with trainer Doug Watson saddling Jawhar to land the spoils in 1:36 flat, just holding on from stable companion, Oasis Dancer giving the trainer a memorable 1-2.

Paul Hanagan rode the winner, for his main employer, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum and bided his time at the front of the main pack after Ghaamer and Dream Tune helped set a furious gallop.

When that pair tired, Hanagan took his mount to the front 300m out and they just held while the big-running Oasis Dancer was perhaps a bit unlucky having been denied a clear run in the straight.

Hanagan said: “That fast gallop really helped me as my horse stays further and I was happy to commit for home when I had the chance. We opened up an advantage and, luckily, just held on.”

The jockey was completing a double for himself and Sheikh Hamdan after former UAE Champion Trainer, Ali Rashid Al Raihe saddled Mundahesh to a smooth success in a 1400m handicap.

Hanagan said: “He won on his local debut over course and distance so conditions obviously suit him and we were always in a nice position, just off a decent early pace. He quickened nicely and kept on well.”

Rookie trainer Ahmad bin Harmash bookended the meeting with a win in the opening 1900m maiden with local debutant Exploratory and the closing 1900m handicap with Ducab.

Raced twice by Godolphin last year, Exploratory was having only his third career start and battled hard to land the spoils, to the delight of his jockey, Adrie de Vries, who said: “He is a promising young horse with, hopefully, the potential to improve. He fought hard, which is always a good sign and there should be more to come.”

Apprentice Daniel Muscutt rode his first UAE winner, making all on Touch Gold in the 1600m handicap, for Champion Trainer, Ernst Oertel. It was a deserved first local victory for the horse, after a string of placed efforts and the young jockey was, understandably, delighted.

He said: “That is only my sixth ride so it is great to get off the mark early on and I am indebted to Mr Oertel and everybody involved for this great opportunity. The horse deserved that as he has been narrowly denied a few times recently.”