6fbbd5c4ac158210VgnVCM200000e66411acRCRDapproved/thenational/Articles/Migration/2010-02Watson is still wary of Tapeta5fbbd5c4ac158210VgnVCM200000e66411ac____Watson is still wary of TapetaHorses need more time on synthetic track, says the champion trainer, whose large string is trained on dirt at Al Quoz.<p>DUBAI // Most UAE-based trainers have been getting their horses ready to race on Tapeta since the end of the summer.
For a few, however, Meydan Racecourse's opening meetings were a baptism of fire.
Doug Watson, the reigning champion trainer, whose large string is trained on dirt at Al Quoz, is one of those who still have reservations about the new track.</p>
<p>Watson said most of his charges were not yet comfortable on the synthetic surface, although he did open his account at the new course with the Friday night victories of Force Freeze and Barbecue Eddie.
But Watson is still wary of the new surface. "It's hard to have an opinion at this stage because we just haven't had much exposure to it," said the American, who trains mainly for Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid.</p>
<p>"Most of the horses that are winning at Meydan Racecourse are training on the surface and we are probably going to get a better feel for it as time goes on. Some of ours have run very poorly there and we don't have much time for them to get used to it.
"I am 100 per cent behind Meydan Racecourse, it's a beautiful facility and they have done a fantastic job, but I am a traditionalist. There are some horses that, if I had the choice, I would not run on the Tapeta again."</p>
<p>Barbecue Eddie has an affinity for synthetic, however, possessing some very good Grade Three form on cushion tracks in the United States, and he did not live up to his potential when finishing a disappointing fifth in two Jebel Ali condition races on dirt earlier this season.
"Barbecue Eddie came out last year and didn't settle and then was very much out of his element on dirt at Jebel Ali," said Watson. "But he took to the Tapeta very well and it was really great to get a win for Sheikh Hamdan."</p>
<p>Watson has transported other horses, who have not run on a synthetic surface, from Al Quoz to train on the Tapeta.
"I brought four over a couple of weeks ago to the training track but I have a lot of horses and it's not really practical," he said.
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