Winning races at Meydan Racecourse proved elementary for Doug Watson, as the six-time UAE champion trainer turned up the proverbial heat two days before the first day of winter, winning five races, including a sweep of the evening's Listed stakes.
The U.S. expat kicked off his quintet of wins in the evening's second race, the Azizi Star for 2-year-old maidens with Mr. H And B's promising Al Seel Legacy's before sweeping the two Listed stakes, the Dubai Creek Mile and The Entisar, with Mohd Khalifa Al Basti's Stunned and Ramzan Kadyrov's Cosmo Charlie, respectively.
Watson then swept the final two races, both handicaps with possible Dubai World Cup Carnival implications, with Al Basti's Lytham St Annes and Hamid Radan's Galvanize.
“We have a great team at home, great owners who have given me some nice horses. Hopefully we can keep it going from here,” Watson said. “I think we have some good Carnival horses, from lower handicap horses to the top ones like Kimbear, Muntazah, Drafted, My Catch, One Man Band and Cosmo Charlie. We have a nice little team going there and it's just a matter of picking the right spots.”
In addition to his wins, Watson had a pair of superb runner-up efforts, including that of Sheikh Saeed bin Mohammed Al Maktoum's 2016 Godolphin Mile (G2) winner One Man Band, who was caught on the wire by the appropriately named Stunned, while racing for the first time in 999 days. Also, Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi's well-regarded debuting 2-year-old filly Razeena ran an excellent race to be second in the Azizi Mina (2-year-old filly maiden).
“Razeena really stood out to me and I was so pleased with her,” he continued. “You think she could be a great (UAE) Oaks filly, but they rated her 79, so we'll just wait and go to the UAE 1000 Guineas (on Jan. 24). She learned a lot tonight, but I think once we get up to that 1900m, she's going to be pretty nice. I loved the way she ran. She was great, which you could tell, but I loved the way she dug in once a horse came in and challenged her. She was able to pick up.
“Having those two winners for Mohd Khalifa Al Basti was great and seeing One Man Band come back after almost 1,000 days off the track and run such a big race felt great. It was just a great night.”
Overall, in the six thoroughbred races on the seven-race Thursday card, Watson had a record of 5-2-1-2-2 from 14 runners, with only two failing to earn cheques. The Dubai World Cup Carnival commences on January 3, 2019, in two weeks' time.
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