Oman Out To Cause Another Cup Upset

Meadow Creek will become the first Thoroughbred to carry the colours of the Royal Cavalry of Oman on Dubai World Cup night when he contests the Dubai Gold Cup for trainer, Doug Watson.

Credit: Andrew Watkins


By Howard Wright

Oman stunned the cricketing world by beating Ireland in the ICC World T20 tournament earlier this month. Now Meadow Creek (GB) is aiming to do something similar for the sultanate’s Thoroughbred racing community when he tackles the Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors.

The Royal Cavalry of Oman’s distinctive green, yellow and red colours, in which Meadow Creek runs, are well known in the Gulf and Europe for being worn by many quality Arabian racers, but this will be the first time they have been carried by a Thoroughbred on Dubai World Cup night.

Brigadier Abdulrazak Alshahwarzi, Commander of the Royal Cavalry since 2008 and a dedicated supporter of Thoroughbred racing, said: “Meadow Creek is facing stiff opposition but if he could get into the placings, that would be wonderful. And if he should win, that would be amazing for Oman.”

UAE trainer Doug Watson believes the five-year-old Meadow Creek, who won one of his 12 races when trained in France by André Fabre, will acquit himself with credit provided he copes with the 3200m distance, over which he is untried.

Watson said: “He came to us fairly late last year. He was in fantastic shape but it has been a rush to get him qualified for the Dubai Gold Cup. He flew home when he was fifth on his first race for us, then ran a very good third to Tryster, which I thought would be good enough to get him into the race, but he didn’t move up the ratings, so he ran again two weeks later and was a good fourth to Sheikhzayedroad.

“We’re learning more about him and Pat Dobbs will probably ride him to come later than before. He worked fantastically on the main track on Monday and I think he will stay the 3200m, but it still has to be a question mark.”

In one sense Meadow Creek has already beaten the odds. Brigadier Alshahwarzi explained: “Jean-Pierre Deroubaix of the French Bloodstock Agency, who buys all our horses, picked him out at the Arqana Sales in France last November and bought him for €160,000. I had a fight with Jean-Pierre because he was over my budget, but in the end he won and I’m happy.

“Meadow Creek appreciated the extra distance of his last race and he seems to be improving for being in Dubai, so I’m hopeful. Whatever happens, he will have a break after the Gold Cup. He may go to England or France in the summer but he’s more likely to stay with Doug Watson and be ready for next season.”

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