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Doug Watson`s In Form Red Stables Claims a Double on Racing at Meydan Card

Mutasayyid wins the feature race
Photo: Dubai Racing Club/Andrew Watkins

Mutasayyid emerged the winner of the featured District One Mansions, a 1600m turf handicap, at Meydan Racecourse on Saturday evening giving trainer Doug Watson a double on the card.

One of five in the race owned by HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, jockey, Pat Dobbs was wearing a distinguishing red cap, suggesting he was far from the most fancied of the quintet, but he posted a fairly comfortable success.

Well drawn in four, the jockey was able to get an early lead, saving ground on the fence, before taking the initiative at halfway.

With 500m left to run, he committed for home, soon opening up daylight between themselves and 13 rivals and always looking likely to hold on.

“He likes to race handily and we hit the gates great tonight,” said Dobbs. “He settles nicely for you which makes my job easier and he has appreciated this return to 1600m having run over further the last twice.

“He has not had much racing and is hopefully a Dubai World Cup Carnival horse for next year.”

Seven went to post for the Meydan Sobha Trophy, a 2000m dirt handicap, but only one horse ever really mattered with the Watson-trained Active Spirit going straight to the front under Sam Hitchcott and staying there.

Drawn widest of all, Hitchcott rushed his mount from the stalls and straight to the front to establish a lead they would not relinquish, kicking clear fully 900m from home and staying on strongly.

“That is the way this horse likes to be ridden,” said Hitchcott. “He enjoyed himself out in front and responded well when I asked him to increase the pace on the back straight.”

Tadhg O’Shea then employed identical tactics aboard the Ali Rashid Al Rayhi-trained Mutahaddith to land the District One Villas, a 1200m dirt handicap.

Drawn one, they broke sharply and were soon able to gain the lead, utilising their rail draw to save ground with O’Shea kicking for home at the top of the straight.

That left their seven rivals toiling and they never then looked likely to be caught.

“We had the perfect draw for those tactics which really suit this horse,” said O’Shea. “We won twice over course and distance last season doing exactly the same thing.”

The District One Trophy, a 1600m dirt handicap and penultimate race on the card, was also won by Al Rayhi and O’Shea, this time with Prepared.

Settled on the rail, just behind the leaders, Prepared shot through a gap when it appeared on the rail, quickening clear and opening up a decisive advantage.

“He probably did not stay the 1950m at Jebel Ali last time and this drop back in trip ha suited him,” said O’Shea.

The opening Meydan Sobha, a turf maiden over 1800m, was won comprehensively by the Satish Seemar-trained Securities, ridden by Colm O’Donoghue, who crossed the line more than six lengths clear.

The leaders appeared to set a suicidal early pace, considering the distance, so O’Donoghue was more than happy to take his time and settled his mount in the middle of the pack.

It was only as the field was on the home turn the pair closed and, with those ridden prominently dropping out of contention, they swept to the front about 400m out and were never going to be caught.

“It was probably not a great race but he won that nicely,” said O’Donoghue. “He has stayed the trip well and they went a good gallop which has helped us.”

Trainer and jockey completed a double with the hard fought success of Heraldic in a second 2000m dirt handicap, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City - District One.

With Day Of Conquest setting a searing early pace, O’Donoghue was content to take a lead and sat just behind the pace on Heraldic who was always seemingly travelling strongly.

When Day Of Conquest cried enough 900m out, Heraldic was soon in front but most of their 13 rivals appeared in trouble.

Cachao loomed large on the home turn, looking a big danger but Heraldic just kept galloping and that rival weakened close home, eventually losing second to Bueller who was never closer having missed the break.

“We have been waiting for a chance over this kind of trip for Heraldic and he has relished it,” said Seemar. “He is another good advert for the ERA’s horses in training sales.”

The concluding 1200m turf race, the District One handicap was claimed by Master Of War under apprentice George Buckell and trained by Dhruba Selvaratnam.

Meydan Racecourse hosts Super Saturday, the official dress rehearsal for the Dubai World Cup on Saturday March 4, featuring five Group races including two Group 1 contests. Tickets for Super Saturday and Dubai World Cup day are available from: store.meydan.ae