Dubai: Champion trainer Doug Watson appears to hold all the aces in Thursday night’s feature race at Meydan Racecourse, the Longines Ladies Master Collection Handicap, where he supplies four of the 11 runners.
Cosmo Charlie, the mount of stable jockey Pat Dobbs, must be considered strongly, not least because he is the trainer’s pick, but more for the ability he showed when winning the Listed Al Bastakiya over 1,900m on a glittering Super Saturday card in early March.
The only three-year-old in a strong field dominated by older horses, Cosmo Charlie may not have been in his elements in his subsequent start, the Group 2 UAE Derby on Dubai World Cup day, where he finished down the field, but Watson reports that he is an improving type.
The American, who trains out of the Red Stables located just behind Al Habtoor City hotels, also saddles Faulkner (Fernando Jara), Etijaah (Sam Hitchcott) and Layl (Josh Quinn).
Assessing the chances of his runners Watson said: “Faulkner missed last season but has been pleasing us at home and it will be nice to see him back on the track.
“But, if I had to pick one of the four, it would be Cosmo Charlie.
“Hopefully he is improving and he does seem in great form but they all do. We think they all should run well in a strong looking contest.”
Wild Dude, a Grade 1 winner when previously trained by Jerry Hollendorfer in the USA, but now racing out of Ahmad Bin Harmash’s Al Aasfa Racing Stables, looks to have claims of upsetting the Watson applecart.
He was third in this race last year and has had the benefit of two runs this season.
“We were a bit disappointed with Ennobled Friend at Jebel Ali last week after his pleasing comeback and hope returning to Meydan for the first time this season will suit him,” said Bin Harmash.
“Wild Dude ran a solid race on his first start for us but has never run over as far as 1600m so we will see how he goes but both seem in good shape at home.”
Satish Seemar saddles Saltarin Dubai, a Grade One winner in his native USA, who was formerly trained by South Africa’s Mike de Kock.
Assistant trainer, Bhupat Seemar, said: “He is a nice new horse in the yard but is running over a trip as short as he has faced to date.
“It may be he is better over a bit further but for his first outing since February, this looks the ideal race for his comeback.”
Longines, Meydan’s Pillar Partner, sponsor all seven races on the card where the concluding Longines Moon Phase Master Collection, has plenty of promise.
Fourteen go to post with the Saeed Bin Surour-trained Ennjaaz the one that stands out.
The son of Poet’s Voice has one win and three seconds on his CV and the Godolphin handler believes that he is the horse who can make progress this year provided he handles the track at Meydan.
Race 1: 1. Jabir; 2. Hucklebuck,
Race 2: 1. Paranormal; 2. Moosir,
Race 3: 1. Mazeedl 2. Street Of Dreams.
Race 4: 1. Pirate’s Cover; 2.Rothenburg.
Race 5: 1. Cosmo Charlie; 2. Wild Dude.
Race 6: 1. Conquerant; 2. Naaeebb.
Race 7: 1. Ennjaaz; 2. Tides Rise.
Day’s Best: Ennjaaz.