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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 November 2018

Doug Watson out to build on Meydan success with 14 runners this Thursday

The UAE champion trainer saddled four winners last Thursday and has a strong hand again this week across the seven-race card

The second meeting of the 2018/19 season at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai gets under way on Thursday. Reem Mohammed / The National
The second meeting of the 2018/19 season at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai gets under way on Thursday. Reem Mohammed / The National

Doug Watson aims to build on his success from last week's opening meet at Meydan Racecourse when horseracing returns to the country's flagship track this Thursday.

The UAE champion trainer saddled four winners last Thursday and has a strong hand again with 14 runners entered across the seven-race card.

Watson is double handed in the fourth with Lytham St Annes and Lovell, the most valuable handicap with a prize fund of Dh190,000.

His stable jockey Pat Dobbs rides Lytham St Annes and the stable’s other rider Sam Hitchcock is atop newcomer Lovell.

“Lovell is a new horse for new owners and has been working very well on dirt, so we hope he can transfer that to the racecourse,” Watson said.

“Lytham St Annes has plenty in his favour and was a good third behind our Thegreatcollection on his first start last season, so we know he goes well fresh.”

The evening’s action kicks off with a maiden for two year olds. Watson will send out Martial Art, a colt by Jimmy Creed who sold at Keeneland last year for US$120,000 (Dh440,000).

Superior represents the Phoenix Ladies, a syndicate successful with their first runner Walking Thunder last week, and are bullish of their runner's chances.

“We could not have hoped for a better start as owners and it was all very exciting, but we were pretty confident as our trainer [Ahmad bin Harmash] said [Walking Thunder] was working well,” the syndicates’ Pamela Cordina said.

“He is similarly bullish about Superior, so fingers crossed lightning can strike twice.”

Watson is well represented in the second race with three runners led by Tried And True, the choice of Dobbs.

Hitchcott is aboard Storm Belt and Dane O’Neill picks up the spare ride on Grand Argentier.

“Grand Argentier was entered last week in a similar race, but we already had Mizbah and Active Spirit in that,” said Justin Byrne, spokesman for the Emirates Entertainment Racing Club syndicate.

“Thus, we decided to wait a week, which looks a good decision as this contest does not look as strong.”

Skyrider represents the same syndicate in the third race with Dobbs atop while Hitchcott rides racecourse debutant Coded.

The most exciting runner for Watson, on form at least, appears to be Mightily, one of his three runners in the fifth race.

The former Godolphin runner makes his local debut and is the choice of Dobbs again. The Dubawi gelding has won once and placed either second or third six times in his eight career starts in France.

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