x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Hopes high for Kal Barg in warm-up for Carnival

Dhruba Selvaratnam is hoping Kal Barg and Emrooz, his Dubai International Carnival contenders, can tonight demonstrate their potential for greater things at Meydan Racecourse.

Dhruba Selvaratnam is hoping Kal Barg and Emrooz, his Dubai International Carnival contenders, can tonight demonstrate their potential for greater things at Meydan Racecourse's second domestic meeting of the season.

Kal Barg, a winner on Meydan Masters night in March, is rated highly enough for Carnival races but Selvaratnam wants to give him a warm-up. He gets his seasonal debut on the all-weather track in the Meydan City Corporation handicap over 2,000 metres, one of two Dh110,000 races.

"I just want to start him off now and see where we are with him," said Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid's trainer. "Then [we will] keep him well and bring him out again for the Carnival. It's the same situation for Emrooz, my runner in the other big-money race."

Kal Barg will be opposed by the Ali Rashid al Raihe-trained Rochdale, already a four-length winner at Meydan this season over the slightly shorter distance of 1,900m. Roman's Run from Doug Watson's string could also be a danger. He was second in a conditions race at Jebel Ali last season and worked well at a trial on the all-weather.

Selvaratnam has booked Kieren Fallon, the five-time British champion jockey, tonight as William Buick, his regular rider, is contesting the International Jockeys' Championship in Mauritius.

"He's not a bad stand-in jockey," joked Selvaratnam, who is hoping Fallon can help him add to his three victories so far this season. "I heard he was back in town and called him to ride all my runners as I prefer to have one jockey on them all when William is away rather than a different jockey on each horse."

sports@thenational.ae