x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

UAE trainer Doug Watson will run his new acquisitions in Singapore

Trainer Doug Watson, based out of the UAE, was not thrilled about the draw but is optimistic about Meandre and Dux Scholar running in Singapore this weekend, writes Geoffrey Riddle.

UAE-based trainer Doug Watson was unsure whether his glass was half empty of half full after the draw for Sunday's international meeting at Kranji on Thursday.

Watson will run new acquisitions Meandre and Dux Scholar in Singapore, with Meandre gunning for the International Cup and Dux Scholar in line for the International Sprint.

Meandre, who was sixth in the Dubai World Cup for Andre Fabre before transferring to Red Stables, was drawn in the second-widest gate in 12 of 13.

Dux Scholar drew the inside post in one, alongside Eddie Lynam's Balmont Mast, the Dubai Golden Shaheen runner-up.

Meandre, like his stablemate, is owned by Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen president, and is a versatile runner. But Watson hopes to see the five-year-old race prominently in the 2,000m Group 1 feature.

"He will still push forward as we originally planned," the trainer said.

He said of Dux Scholar: "I'm happy he's drawn the inside post. He normally comes from well off the pace and he will be able to get a nice sit from there."

Hunter's Light was drawn in barrier 10 for the International Cup while Red Cadeaux, who was five places ahead of the Godolphin runner in the Dubai World Cup by finishing second, was placed in gate seven.

In America, Orb was handed a tricky draw for his bid to add to Saturday's Preakness Stakes to his Kentucky Derby victory two weeks ago. Shug McGaughey's horse drew gate one, which last produced the winner at Pimlico in 1994.

The Preakness Stakes is the second leg of America's famed Triple Crown, with the Belmont Stakes on June 8 the third leg.


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