Dubai: Rio Angie, who did not come cheap at one of America’s most highly regarded horse sales in May, wasted no time to repay the faith of his connections by dominating her four rivals to win the Baby & Child Trophy Maiden Stakes at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday evening.
Ridden with supreme confidence by Pat Dobbs, the $320,00 purchase at the inaugural Fasig-Tipton two-year-olds in training sale at the historic Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, showed plenty of promise with an effortless four-and-a-half-length victory.
Owner Hamid Radan could not have been more pleased with what he saw his acquisition do at the Gulf News-sponsored race meeting.
Majhoola, ridden by Connor Beasley for trainer Ahmad Bin Harmash, finished best of the rest, while Early Motion, the mount of Antonio Fresu, was back in third.
Emirati handler Salem Bin Ghadayer’s highly thought of Down On Da Bayon was fourth under Royston Ffrench with Tapi Sioux, Watson’s second runner, bringing up the rear with Sam Hitchcott.
“She’s done everything perfect at home but you never know until they show up here,” said Watson. “She was a bit keen but ran on nicely and she’ll improve for the next run.”
Revealing future plans for Rio Angie, Watson said: “I think we’ll run in the trial (1,000 Guineas) in January and then all going well the Guineas.”
A daughter of Honor Code, Rio Angie is a half-sister to eight winners including Quantum Miss, whose biggest success was in New York’s Grade 3 Cicada Stakes.
Gulf News, one of the longest serving sponsors and promoters of flat-tracing at Meydan, and its predecessor Nad Al Sheba Racecourse, were making their 2019-2020 debut to support a six-race card at the sport’s UAE headquarters on Thursday evening.
All races were run under the banner of the different products associated with the region’s leading English-language newspaper, including gulfnews.com, Friday magazine, Reach by Gulf News, the Gulf News newspaper and InsideOut, a popular interior design magazine.
Watson and Dobbs would team up to win the 1,600 metre gulfnews.com handicap with Trenchard, who like Rio Angie, outshone his rivals to cross the finish line a good five-and-a-half lengths clear of his nearest challenger, Cachao. Davy Lamp, the mount of Antonio Fresu, occupied the third position.
A third win would follow for Watson and Dobbs when Mulfit landed the Friday Maiden Stakes.
Gulf News’ sponsorship of flat-racing will include another meeting during the 2020 Dubai World Cup Carnival and conclude in March when it sponsors the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen, the 1,200 metre sprint race the features on the $35 million Dubai World Cup card.
This is the 25th Anniversary of the Dubai World Cup which was won in its inaugural year by the great Cigar.