Dhruba Selvaratnam saddled two winners at Jebel Ali Racecourse yesterday, claiming victory with Kessraa and the possible Dubai International Racing Carnival contender Otaared.
Under William Buick, Otaared won the 1,400m, Dh110,000 handicap in fine style, getting the better of early leader Shampagne and putting two-and-a-half lengths between them before crossing the finish line.
"I was very pleased with Otaared, but I was expecting him to be prominent in that race," said Selvaratnam. "He showed last season that he is good first time up but then he disappointed me after that. He did come back into form later in the season but I'm now thinking that the key with Otaared might be to space out his races a bit more." Otaared will get another Jebel Ali run in three weeks and could then be bound for the Dubai International Racing Carnival and Meydan Racecourse. Kessraa, who like Otaared is owned by Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid, claimed the mile-long Dh65,000 handicap, making up for his performance at the opening meet of the season when he was beaten by a head by Doug Watson's Gulf Of Gold.
"I felt Kessraa should have won last time out," Selvaratnam said. "He's a horse that needs to be held up in running, so I'm pleased that it's come together today."
Watson went home a winner when Alsadeek reserved a place in the season-ending Jebel Ali Sprint with a six-length victory in the Dh120,000 feature yesterday.
Alsadeek had a crack at Jebel Ali's best sprint last season, coming seventh, and his owner, Malih al Basti, would like him to have another shot at the Listed race.
Judging from yesterday's performance in the 1,200m conditions contest under Pat Dobbs, the five-year-old is in fine form.
He won going away from a decent field.
"We knew he was fit and we were expecting him to do well," said al Basti, who also owns the 2009 Jebel Ali Sprint winner Hammadi. "He won races at the beginning of the season last year so we know he runs well fresh.
"Now we want to take him to the Jebel Ali Sprint."
Watson, who also claimed second with Classic Blade, ridden by Tadhg O'Shea, said the goal is to keep Alsadeek sound.
"It's great to get a winner for Malih, who is a great supporter of Red Stables," he said. "Now we are going to look after Alsadeek, keep him well and hopefully get a few more winners."