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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Drafted proves Dubai World Cup Carnival calibre with victory at Meydan Racecourse

Colt provides American trainer Doug Watson second win of night on Dubai track

Drafted, ridden by Sam Hitchcott and trained by Doug Watson, won the Garhoud Sprint on Thursday night in Dubai. Antonie Robertson / The National
Drafted, ridden by Sam Hitchcott and trained by Doug Watson, won the Garhoud Sprint on Thursday night in Dubai. Antonie Robertson / The National

An American horse named Drafted made the ideal preparation for his second Dubai World Cup Carnival campaign when he won the Listed Garhoud Sprint at Meydan Racecourse on Thursday.

Sam Hitchcott guided the colt to victory in the 1,200-metre race with a late run, as the pair edged past Musabah Al Muhairi’s Ibn Malik under Ben Curtis.

“He broke very well," trainer Doug Watson said. "The owner called me to take off the visors because he was breaking slow last year. He broke sharp and Sam gave him a great ride.

"He got a bit tired in the last half furlong but still hung on," he added. "So very proud of him."

In the process, Watson completed a second win of the night after Hitchcott had ridden Powderhouse to victory in the opening race to clinch the Lincoln MKZ trophy.

Watson’s Kimbear finished third in the Garhoud Sprint, and the American handler said he knew he had a hard race but would emerge stronger for his next meeting at Meydan in two weeks' time.

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Key Bid came from last to first to land the fourth race of the night at Meydan Racecourse. Antonie Robertson / The National
Key Bid came from last to first to land the fourth race of the night at Meydan Racecourse. Antonie Robertson / The National

Meanwhile, Panamanian jockey Fernando Jara celebrated his 100th win in the UAE when Key Bid came from last to first to land the fourth race, called the Lincoln Navigator, a handicap race run over 2,000m by horses rated 80-94.

Jara trailed the field and was still a long way behind when the runners approached the final bend, but brought Key Bid around a wall of horses before pipping Welford and Albernathy for victory.

“He made his first local start over the same distance five weeks ago to finish fourth, and we knew he will improve from that outing,” trainer Ali Rashid Al Raihe said.

“He looks a horse for the Carnival but we’ll see how he has come out of this race - perhaps give him another race and then see where he goes from there. He can go even further than tonight’s distance.”

Walking Thunder was an impressive winner of the third race, called Lincoln, run by two year olds over 1,600m.

Trained by Ahmed bin Harmash and ridden by Connor Beasley, Walking Thunder went clear on the 400m mark to win by four-and-a-half lengths from Bila Shak and Raayan.

“The first time he ran over seven furlongs and I wanted to teach him a little bit to see the mile out well,” said Beasley, who notched his eighth winner of the season.

“His attitude is unbelievable for a two year old who has run only twice. He has won both his races comfortably and he’ll go for the next race with more confidence.”

Satish Seemar saddled two winners under different jockeys. Richard Mullen rode Heraldic to win the second race, called the Lincoln MKC. Tadhg O'Shea produced a late run to beat Watson’s Big Brown Bear in the sixth race, called the Lincoln MKX.