Doug Watson lights up Longines-sponsored racing at Meydan with four winners
Trainer Doug Watson enjoyed a memorable night of racing at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday by saddling four of the evening’s race winners.
One of those was Cosmo Charlie who romped to an emphatic success in the evening’s feature race, the Longines Ladies Master Collection, at the UAE course.
The quartet of winners also earned Watson his 500th UAE winner on what was an eventful and successful night for the Dubai based US racehorse trainer.
The Longines Ladies Master Collection, a 1600 metres rated conditions stakes, was the fifth and highlight race of the seven on the card at Meydan and looked competitive on paper, however it turned out that very few of the 11 runners were able to mount a serious challenge.
Cosmo Charlie, winner of the Listed Al Bastakiya over 1900 metres on Super Saturday last season, was soon out on his seasonal return in front under Pat Dobbs. The pair were always travelling strongly and they had the race in safe keeping fully 500 metres from the line, meaning it was a case of who was to form the pecking order to follow them home.
Faulkner, also trained by Watson, came in second a good three and a quarter lengths back, with Layl taking third in a result reminiscent of the trainer’s 1-2-3 in the 2016 Godolphin Mile, when Faulkner was also runner-up
Watson’s quartet of winners began in the Longines Gents La Grande Classique, a 1200 metre handicap as Moosir was an equally comfortable winner.
Ideally drawn in stall one, jockey Dane O’Neill was soon able to secure both the lead and the rail, and the pair were never headed, quickening clear early in the straight before winning comfortably by two and a half lengths from Always Welcome in second, with Strong Chemistry a distant third a further five lengths back.
Trained by Watson for HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who retains O’Neill, Moosir was recording his fourth career win and brought up Watson’s 499th success.
Watson had to wait just two races to bring up the magic 500, courtesy of Thegreatcollection who ran out comfortable winner of the Longines Gents Master Collection, a 1400 metre handicap.
Ridden by Pat Dobbs, he was never far off the pace set by Sam Hitchcott aboard stable companion, Lytham St Annes and the pair fought out a duel throughout the first half of the home straight. Dobbs’ mount proved too strong about 250 metres from home and Scrutineer denied Lytham St Annes second in the dying strides but was two lengths adrift of the winner.
Watson’s four-timer was complete in the meeting’s finale, the Longines Moon Phase Master Collection Handicap, run over 2000 metres handicap and won by Dehbashi.
The winner looked impressive on return from a 251 day break, winning by a length and half from Jaaref in second and Enery in third; a victory which also earned jockey Pat Dobbs his third victory of the evening.
The meeting, sponsored by Swiss watchmaker Longines, opened with a 1200 metre maiden, the Longines Conquest Classic in which the only filly in the race, Halima Hatun, proved to be far too good for her 10 rivals
Partnered by Antonio Fresu, she was soon in front and, always travelling smoothly, skipped clear leaving the home turn after which she never looked likely to be caught. The winning margin of nine and a half lengths from Hucklebuck in second and Jabir tells its own story.
The Longines Ladies La Grande Classique, a 1600 metre handicap, appeared to be run at a furious gallop which suited Secret Trade, ridden patiently by Tadhg O’Shea for Ali Rashid Al Rayhi.
Despite being well beaten over 1800 metre on his seasonal debut last Friday, his stamina proved crucial this time out. Having cruised into contention early in the straight, they shot clear 300 metre from the line to wrap up the race in some style by six and a quarter lengths from Conquerant in second and Tobaco in third.
The biggest battle of the evening came in the 1600 metre maiden, the Longines Equestrian Collection as Mazeed opened his account, but only just.
Owned by Sheikh Mohd bin Khalifa Al Maktoum and previously trained by Mike de Kock, he was having his first start here for Satish Seemar and lead about 200 metres from home by Richard Mullen.
The pair went past stable companion Beachcomber who had the early lead under Pat Cosgrave. As that rival weakened, it was left to Daffg to throw down the last challenge but Mullen’s mount was always holding on, eventually clinching victory by three-quarters of a length.
The next racing at Meydan is on 7 December.