Watson, Dobbs in red-hot form at Meydan

Red Stables pairing land a Meydan three-timer as Bin Suroor lands joint feature

Open Mind, ridden by Daniel Tudhope, wins the DWCC Expedition at Meydan. — Photo by Neeraj Murali
Open Mind, ridden by Daniel Tudhope, wins the DWCC Expedition at Meydan. — Photo by Neeraj Murali

Leslie Wilson Jr

Published: Mon 16 Jan 2023, 12:15 AM

Godolphin handler Saeed bin Suroor travelled to Meydan racecourse on Sunday evening armed with just one runner. But like a professional marksman, he comfortably succeeded in hitting the bull’s-eye to take out the feature race of the evening.

It is not often that you get to see the multiple champion trainer rely on just one contender as he did at the Racing at Meydan domestic meeting, but when you have a horse as good as Open Mind is, you won’t require more arrows in your quiver.

An all-weather specialist who has posted a brace of wins at Chelmsford in the heart of Essex in the UK, Open Mind welcomed the transition to Meydan’s modified grass track to readily win the DWCC Expedition handicap over 1,400 metres.

With Group 1 winning Scottish rider Daniel Thudhope in the saddle for only the second time in 11 career starts, the five-year-old son of Irish stallion Cable Bay comfortably outgalloped a closing Western Symphony to score by half a length.

“He is slowly improving this horse and this trip or back at 1200m suits him,” said Thudhope, who is based at David O’Meara’s Stables in Yorkshire, England. “I rode him in the UK when not beaten far on soft ground but this quicker surface has suited him.”

By winning off a mark of 88 he would have doubtless impressed the ERA handicapper who is sure to put his closer towards a ticket to the Dubai World Cup Carnival in due course.

Meanwhile, former champion trainer Doug Watson rediscovered the red-hot form that he is revered for when saddling a hat-trick to further strengthen his position at the top of the table where he resides with 28 winners.

Sari Dubai, making his turf debut, kicked off proceedings for the American handler when capturing the DWCC Racing Maiden before stable star in-the-making Al Nayyir landed the DWCC Voyage handicap for his third success in four starts since November.

“He was a horse we were looking forward to this season as he has plenty of ability and a lovely pedigree. He is improving and hopefully can continue to do so in a better grade,” Dobbs said.

Commenting on Sari Dubai’s performance on grass, where he showed tremendous battling qualities to deny courageous Made in Dubai, Dobbs remarked: “He has really fought hard but, looking back, we have probably been a bit too positive on him in his dirt races and everything has gone perfectly tonight.”

Watson and Dobbs capped their treble when Qareb won the DWCC Elegant Lifestyle handicap but not before seeing off a persistent Grand Dubai.

Ray Dawson continued his good form for the season when partnering with Magic Petition, to win his maiden for the fourth time of asking

Dawson said: “We were pretty hopeful coming into a handicap for the first time, especially with a good draw. It all worked out perfectly and he can, hopefully, progress as that was competitive enough for the grade.”

The DWCC.Com finale was fought out between two Bhupat Seemar runners, with Pat Cosgrave and Leading Spirit staying on to win from Ranaan, the mount of Tadhg O’Shea.

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