Watson Seeks to Build on Meydan Double at Saturday Afternoon Meet

Red Stables Trainer Triple Handed in Feature Race

It may not be a Dubai World Cup Carnival meeting but Saturday’s card at Meydan Racecourse looks particularly competitive and is highlighted by a 1400m turf handicap with the maximum field of 16 set to face the starter.

Trainer Doug Watson, fresh from a Meydan double on Thursday, is responsible for three of them with Paul Hanagan partnering Washaar for his main employer HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Watson also saddles Jally, the mount of Sam Hitchcott for the same owner, with stable jockey, Pat Dobbs, aboard the yard’s third runner, Shamaal Nibras.

“All three are fit and well,” said Watson, who is also responsible for the two reserves in the race. “Shamaal Nibras was due to run in the Jebel Ali Mile last weekend but when that was postponed we decided to come here. He has had a nice break since a good win at Jebel Ali and should run well.

“He will then go for the rearranged Jebel Ali Mile in three weeks.

“Washaar is having his second start for us and has improved since his comeback run and Jally was not beaten far last time. It is a very competitive race but hopefully we have three decent chances.”

Rashed Bouresly saddles an interesting contender in Jayed Jidan, a good winner of the Jebel Ali Mile Prep but surprisingly not among the entries for the Jebel Ali Mile itself last week.

He should go well under Oscar Urbina for whom he remains a sole winner in the UAE to date following that Jebel Ali success three weeks ago.

South African Mike De Kock won the Group 2 Al Rashidiya for the fourth year running on Thursday and is represented here by Lehaaf, a good third behind stable companion Almoonqith in a 1600m handicap on his most recent outing.

Wayne Smith was in the saddle on that occasion and retains the ride.

“He ran well the last day,” said Smith. “He appreciated the return to turf having run on dirt once earlier in the season and not seeming to handle it. The trip should suit him and we have a nice draw.

“Mike’s horses seem in good form and I am hoping for a good run in a wide open looking contest.”

Bahrain are represented by Fils Anges, trained by Ali Jan and to be ridden by Adrie De Vries as he was a fortnight ago when third in a 1200m turf handicap.

“That was a very good run,” said De Vries. “I actually thought we might win for a moment but he lost nothing in defeat. The extra 200m should not be a problem but our wide draw could be.”

Silvestre De Sousa rides Ebn Arab from two runners for his main employer, Musabah Al Muhairi with apprentice George Buckell aboard stable companion, Straight Talk.

Mickael Barzalona was another stable jockey with a choice to make and he has elected to ride Cambre for Salem bin Ghadayer, leaving apprentice Cam Hardie the ride on Machete Mark.