Doug Watson continues his bid to regain the trainers' championship today with a four-strong hand at Sharjah Racecourse.
He went into the weekend with two wins gained at Jebel Ali Racecourse's opening meet and his chances today are likely to come from Gulf Of Gold, a thoroughbred, and Quite A Show, a purebred Arabian,
Quite A Show, who goes in the third race, a Dh60,000 conditions contest, looks to have a real chance. He was the winner of three conditions races over a mile and shorter at Delaware Park, in the US, in 2009.
Those wins came on dirt. Quite A Show's two UAE starts last season were on the Abu Dhabi turf, coming home third in a mile-long listed race and fourth in the UAE Arabian Derby.
They are respectable results in good company. But as Quite A Show's best form came on dirt, he must be considered a real danger on the same surface at Sharjah Racecourse.
Watson sounded a note of caution: "He does have great form but I am just a little worried about the trip. I wasn't sure if the turf or the trip was the problem last season."
Tadgh O'Shea, the second jockey of Quite A Show's owner, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, takes the ride.
His main competition in the race comes from Knife, a horse trained by Anthony Manuel and ridden by Jesus Rosales.
Knife is backing up after a victory a week ago at Sharjah over a shorter distance of eight-and-a-half furlongs. Knife held on gamely to claim victory by a quarter-of-a-length from Musabah al Muhairi's Bareq, who also appears in today's field.
Gulf Of Gold promises to live up to his name in the first thoroughbred race on the card, a handicap worth Dh65,000. The Watson-trained charge, also ridden by O'Shea, won at Jebel Ali two weeks ago and his handler is in a confident mood.
"He won over the trip at this course last season and he's very well in himself." Watson said. "There are a couple of horses that look good in the field but we are expecting a big race from him."
Dhruba Selvaratnam's Daweyrr, who beat Gulf Of Gold in 2009 at Sharjah, is likely to be chief among his rivals.