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Watson campaign kicks into full stride

Former champion handler doubles up on night of big surprises at Meydan

Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
Famous Warrior, ridden by Patrick Kobbs and trained by Doug Watson, won the 1,600m AlDana Wealth Handicap at Meydan on Thursday night.
Gulf News

Dubai: Former champion trainer Doug Watson said he was happy to see his horses running well after landing a double at the Commercial Bank of Dubai-sponsored race meeting at Meydan racecourse on Thursday.

Watson, who has endured a tough start to the season with runners-up outscoring his winners, bagged the feature race of the evening with Famous Warrior, a horse that he said he had always liked a lot and was confident of doing the business with, with the benefit of a favourable draw.

The son of Dewhurst winner Alhaarth led from start to finish in the 1600m handicap to win by length and a half from Pick Six favourite Farrier.

“We were very confident he would run a big race as he was drawn well,” said the Red Stables-based handler. “If he keeps the draw where he is and gets a nice lead where he’s able to dictate a race at his pace, then he can progress.

“We’ve always thought a lot of him and he’ll probably run once more before the Carnival. He should get in there at the bottom of the weights, so that should help him too. So we’re happy.”

Watson’s joy was boosted on the night when 30 minutes later he visited the Meydan winner’s enclosure with Profondo Rosso, a smashing three-length winner of the concluding Attiajari Al Islami handicap.

Ridden by the exciting Harry Bentley, retained rider to the horse’s owner, Ahmad Al Shaikh, the son of Red Ransom led home a one-two for Watson, who also saddled the second placed Karma Chameleon.

“Its nice to see our season pick up a gear,” said the handler. “At the start the season our horses hadn’t been running as well as we expected first time out on this track so it was really nice to see them win like that.

“We thought Profondo Rosso was a nice horse. Last year he summered very well. He travels nicely and finishes off his races well, so hopefully we can progress from here with him. I’m not too sure if he’s going to make the Carnival but its nice to seem him win like that, as this track doesn’t really suit our horses very well.

Watson also singled out Karma Chameleon for special praise: “That was another great story in that race. Karma Chameleon was running horrible races first time on the track, but having the benefit of the run and coming from last I thought he ran a great race despite having to go wide.

“It was a great end to the night.”

Earlier in the evening the highly-regarded Surfer finally won his maiden when displaying his talent in the CBD World MasterCard opener over 1600m.

Under the careful urging of Richard Mullen, stable jockey to Zabeel Racing International Corp, the three-year-old son of Distorted Humour galloped to a four-length victory from Interpret.

“That is a big relief for all of us as it is always a worry when a horse is expected to win but he did it nicely. He ran some great races last season and will go to the Dubai World Cup Carnival on a high,” said Satish Seemar who trains Surfer.

Surfer was runner-up in last season’s Listed Al Bastakiya and an eye-catching fourth in the UAE 2000 Guineas.

Elsewhere, Ganas maintained Ernst Oertel’s strong start to the season by taking the Shahraza Ladies Banking handicap while lesser-fancied Trojan Nights won the CBD Mortgage Loan handicap for Al Muhairi.

Carlos Sanchez and Abdullah Bin Huzaim combined to win the Al Dana Visa Infinite Card handicap with Count Paris.


Results at Meydan, Thursday, November 22

Race 1. CBD World MasterCard (TB Maiden) 1600m (AW):

1. Surfer (S Seemar) R Mullen; 2. Interpret; 3. Blue Sea; 4. Wise Thoughts.

Dist: 4L, 2.25, Ns. Time: 01:39.43s.


Race 2. Al Dana Visa Infinite Card (TB rated 55-70) 1400m (AW):

Count Paris (A Bin Huzaim) C Sanchez; 2. Mutayaser; 3. Kingdom Beauty; 4. Dubai Set.

Dist: 0.75L, 0.75, 0.25. Time: 01:27.18s.


Race 3. Shahrazad Ladies Banking (TB rated 65-85) 1200m (AW):

1. Ganas (E Oertel) T O’shea; 2. Need To Know; 3. Parvaaz; 4. Tagseed.

Dist: 0.5L, 0.75, 0.25. Time: 01:13.52s.


Race 4. CBD Mortgage Loan (TB rated 70-90) 1600m (AW):

1. Trojan Nights (M Al Muhairi) J Doyle; 2. Innocuous; 3. Layali Al Andalus; 4. Maath Gool.

Dist: 1.25L, Sh, 0.75. Time: 01:39.87s.


Race 5. Al Dana Wealth (TB rated 85-100) 1600m (AW):

1. Famous Warrior (D Watson) P Dobbs; 2. Farrier; 3. Capital Attraction; 4. Mutajare.

Dist: 1.5L, Sh, 2.75. Time: 01:38.73s.


Race 6. Attijari Al Islami (TB rated 60-80) 1900m (AW):

1. Profondo Rosso (D Watson) H Bentley; 2. Karma Chameleon; 3. Masaalek; 4. Devdas.

Dist: 3L, 3.5, 0.75. Time: 2:00.44s.