Dubai: Both Doug Watson and Sam Hitchcott had never won a race on Dubai World Cup night but all that changed in the Godolphin Mile.
Watson sent out three horses in the race with stable jockey Pat Dobbs taking the mount on Cool Cowboy as Hitchcott and Dane O’Neill took the rides on One Man Band and Faulkner, respectively.
Watson could not dream what was to happen as his horses finished in first, second and third.
The race got underway and after Marking got restrained as One Man Band took the lead.
The son of Pivotal towed them along and to be fair, he never saw another horse throughout the race. He was two lengths clear coming to the home turn and he then sauntered. The only horse that could go with him was stablemate Cool Cowboy.
But whilst his rival floundered he kept going well.
Watson’s so-called third-string Faulkner finished fast late on to snatch second place from Cool Cowboy.
Sloane Avenue and Marking were making ground but it was too little too late and the bird had flown.
Having only his second start in Stakes races, One Man Band is a horse who has really benefitted from the new dirt surface at Meydan and in his 13th race on the track this was his 8th win. Shaikh Saeed Bin Mohammad Al Maktoum’s horse is a tough competitior and was a worthy winner of the first thoroughbred race of the evening.
Hitchcott has enjoyed an excellent season this year in the UAE and this was just reward for his loyalty and persistence and this ranks as one of the biggest wins of his career to date. He finished ninth in the UAE jockey’s championship and this was his 19th win so far.
A jubilant Hitchcott said: “He jumped (out of the stalls) and travelled (through the race) so good. He kicked off the turn and went well. His most awkward part in a race is usually jumping from the stalls but he was brilliant today. It was great for Doug and the team.”
O’Neill is in great form and he noted: “It was a messy race and I lost my position early. Halfway around the turn I had to sit and wait. I was second in the end and we stayed on well but we wouldn’t have beaten the winner.”
In third place on Cool Cowboy, Dobbs commented: “I had a good position in second but he was never travelling as well as I hoped - then we got done on the line into third.”
Although Dobbs picked the wrong horse, he will be delighted for his principle employer and friend and all those at the yard.
Such dominance in a race on Dubai World Cup night is rare and Watson, who is the UAE Champion Trainer this season, winning with such an effort great for the popular Chicagan and his top team at Red Stables.
Watson beamed: “No, never...I wasn’t expecting such a clean sweep. It’s such an amazing feeling when you consider that you’ve been waiting for this moment of winning only one. And now in one race we have all three. I was just expecting to get one of my horses out there in the front.
“If you ask me to describe the feeling, I would say it is unbelievable. This is such a great start to the evening and hopefully, there will be more winners from our side.
“As far as the jockey goes, I didn’t have to tell him anything before the race. He is such an experienced hand and he knew exactly what he had to do.”