Wins for Moosir, Thegreatcollection, Cosmo Charlie and Dehbashi saw the milestone crossed at the Dubai racetrack on Thursday.
Doug Watson pays tribute to 'great team' after crossing 500 career wins at Meydan
Doug Watson celebrated a milestone of reaching 500 career winners with a treble at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday.
Moosir, under Dane O’Neill, set the ball rolling for Watson in the second race before Pat Dobbs, the stable jockey, rode three winners on Thegreatcollection, Cosmo Charlie and Dehbashi to take the UAE champion trainer’s tally to 502.
“It’s nice,” Watson said on reaching his milestone. “We have a great team at home and they have all done a fantastic job.
“I couldn’t have done it without them. It’s an achievement for everybody. We have some great owners. They give us some nice horses to achieve something like this.”
Cosmo Charlie was the icing on the cake for Watson at Meydan’s second meeting of the season, scooping the most valuable prize, the Dh225,000 Conditions race.
The three-year-old colt by Stay Thirsty made a winning return since a disappointing run in the UAE Derby on the Dubai World Cup card in March.
“He won [the Listed Al Bastakiya] over the 1,900-metre distance before that and we still were very hopeful,” said Watson after his victory over stable companions Faulkner and Layl over the 1,600m trip.
“This distance seems to be his optimum although he’s won over the longer trip, but I don’t know how good the horses behind him on that occasion.
“Anyway, he’s a good horse and we’ll try him out in a Listed race at Meydan in December and take him straight to the Maktoum Challenge Round 1.
“That’s the plan for now.”
Dobbs raced Cosmo Charlie to the front and they got stronger as the race progressed, coming home three and-a-half lengths ahead of Faulkner, with Layl another half-a-length behind in third.
Dobbs had brought up Watson’s 500th winner on Thegreatcollection 35 minutes earlier.
That race, too, appeared to be a battle to the line between Watson’s two runners, Thegreatcollection and Lytham St Annes, who Sam Hitchcock aboard.
Dobbs prevailed in the battle with Tadhg O’Shea, who on the Ali Rashid Al Raihe-trained Scrutineer, split the two Watson runners to take second spot.
“He jumped well but I had to keep him pushing most of the way. He did it really well at the end,” Dobbs said of the three year old American bred gelded son of Saint Annden.
Halima Hatun, under Italian jockey Antonio Fresu, took the opener for Emirati trainer Ismail Mohammed’s first winner of the season.
The only filly in the 11-runner Maiden over 1,200m was impressive on her local debut and second career start, romping home to win by nine-and-a-half lengths from Hucklebuck under Colm O’Donoghue.
Dane O’Neill rode a similar race for his first winner of the season atop the Doug Watson-trained Moosir to take the second race on the card from the O’Shea-ridden Always Welcome in the 1,400m handicap, rated 63-74.
Mazeed left his poor form of last season behind him with a first career victory in six starts for his new trainer Satish Seemar, while the trainer-jockey combination of Al Raihe and O’Shea took the second last race on Secret Trade.