Selvaratnam Lands Home Victory in Featured Jebel Ali Sprint Race

Sholaan (IRE)
Photo: Cedric Lane (

Friday afternoon’s Jebel Ali meeting was highlighted by a 1200m sprint handicap, won impressively by Sholaan, trained on the track by Dhruba Selvaratnam.

Owned by racecourse patron, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Sholaan had been due a victory after performing consistently well in defeat in his previous six UAE starts.

On this occasion Sholaan was always going well under James Doyle and, once they hit the front 200m out, the race was over.

Doyle said: “The horse really deserves that because he has run some great races here in the UAE without enjoying much luck. I was happy to get a lead here as we knew a few of these rivals are perhaps better over 1400m.

“We knew they would be staying on but my fellow has a great cruising speed and showed a nice turn of foot to win well.”

Jockey Harry Bentley had two winners in Qatar on Thursday and continued his rich vein of form when driving Safir Bainuna to victory in the only Purebred Arabian contest, the opening 1600m conditions race.

Winning for the first time on dirt, Safir Bainuna is owned and trained by Ahmed Al Mehairbi and this was the horse’s third win of the season.

“I think this horse is improving all the time and he ran on well to lead where it mattered having seemed in trouble at one stage when I thought he was getting tired," said Bentley who has been in the saddle for each of the horse`s victories this term.

“It is great to win three on him for such a small yard.”

Former UAE Champion Jockey, Wayne Smith, riding at his beloved Jebel Ali for the first time since breaking his collarbone here on Friday December 13, wasted little time in getting back in the winner’s enclosure – landing the second race, a 1400m handicap, on Art Wave for his main employer, Musabah Al Muhairi.

Having his second local start, and the only three-year-old in the field, he had to work hard to pass Firstknight.

“We were pretty confident coming into the race after his excellent local debut last time," said Smith. "The chances are this horse will be better over further and there will, hopefully, be more to come from him.”

For the second Jebel Ali meeting running, Henry Clay landed an 1800m handicap for trainer, Doug Watson with Pat Dobbs in the saddle. Dobbs was able to set a steady gallop on the winner, jumping to the front after 200m and staying there.

Watson was relieved, explaining: “I was worried beforehand that there were two or three others who might take us on for the lead but that did not really materialise. Pat (Dobbs) has ridden a great race and they have won well. Hopefully, there is more improvement to come and he can be a fun horse for the rest of this season and beyond.”

Tiz Now Tiz Then, formerly a Jebel Ali 1400m track record holder, won the 1600m handicap with Richard Mullen in the saddle for trainer Satish Seemar.

Mullen said: “He has plenty of ability but has had us all scratching our heads as to how to ride him and what trip really suits him. Today, everything has worked out perfectly.”

Seemar completed a quick double with Returning Hero, the mount of apprentice Marc Monaghan, landing the concluding 1600m maiden.