Winning run continues for Watson

UAE Champion Trainer, Doug Watson, is clearly intent on retaining his crown and followed up his five winners at Meydan on Thursday by landing the featured 1700m handicap at Sharjah on Saturday afternoon, courtesy of Hakim.

Stable jockey for Watson at Red Stables, Pat Dobbs, who was aboard three of the yard’s winners on Thursday, was soon in front on Hakim and able to secure what appeared a relatively easy lead.

Travelling strongly and seemingly enjoying himself down the back straight, he responded when Dobbs asked him to win his race, at the top of the straight and soon put daylight between himself and 13 toiling rivals.

Watson was not on the course but the owner’s, EERC (Emirates Entertainment Racing Club), certainly were in good numbers to cheer home their winner.

“We, as a syndicate, actually had a winner in England at the same time Doug was doing so well at Meydan on Thursday,”

EERC spokesman Justin Byrne said. “This horse is very capable, as he has shown today and, hopefully, he can follow this up as he has lots of ability but Pat deserves a lot of credit for this win as he judged it perfectly from the front.

” Elise Jeanne is another trainer who has made a great start to the campaign and she saddled her fifth winner of the season when MH Lazzaz landed the opening 1200m handicap with a gutsy display.

Settled in midfield by Adam McLean, he made smooth progress to lead about 300m from home, only to be headed in the final 100m by Tamooh S.

However, McLean’s mount was not for beating and fought back valiantly to win, going away from the runner-up in the end to provide his apprentice jockey a first UAE winner. “It has been a while coming,” said McLean. “But, obviously, it is great to get the first winner on the board. I am learning a lot here and it is a great experience.

” Yas Horse Racing Management celebrated their first success as owners when Jose Santiago drove Kardoos, trained by Frenchman Jean de Roualle, to an ultimately comfortable success in a 1200m maiden.

Losing his maiden tag at the 16th attempt, Kardoos was having a fifth outing in the UAE and the straight, flat, Sharjah sprint track appeared to really suit him. De Roualle said: “He has shown us speed at home so we dropped him in trip and it has worked well.”

The only Thoroughbred contest was a 1200m maiden and it produced a thrilling finish, which looked unlikely 300m from the post when Richard Mullen and Deserving Honour looked to have the race in safe keeping.

However, having his first start for more than two years, Mullen’s mount was visibly tiring in the final 200m and was snared, a few strides before the line, by Logistics.

Trained by Helal Al Alawi and opening his account at the seventh attempt, Logistics benefitted from a determined effort from apprentice George Buckell.

“We were quite hopeful,” said Al Alawi. “We thought this 1200m at Sharjah would suit him and he has run on strongly to lead where it mattered under a good ride.”

Trainer Ernst Oertel and his main patron, Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda provided the 1-2 in a 1700m maiden to continue their productive campaign.

Richard Mullen, who rides the vast majority of the team’s runners, went to the front a long way out on AF Yathroq and, entering the straight, stable companion AF Al Bokht perhaps looked the most likely winner under Antonio Fresu.

However, Mullen’s mount found plenty for pressure and shot clear inside the final 200m to win easily.

“It was the second start, after good debuts, for both horses,” said Al Nabooda. “We thought we had two good chances and they ran accordingly.”

The finale, a 2000m conditions contest, went to Qassam W’Rsan, ridden by Cameron Noble and a first winner of the season for trainer, Jaci Wickham, celebrating her 100th UAE victory as a trainer.