Watson wins three on seven-race card
Military Law upset the proverbial apple cart in The Entisar by three lengths in what was only his second start on dirt
Racing at Meydan on Thursday was highlighted by The Entisar and Garhoud Sprint, with the former over the same 2000m as the $12 million Dubai World Cup. Both races were won by the 2014-15 champion trainer Mussabeh Al Mheiri in dominant fashion, a press release said.
Military Law upset the proverbial apple cart in The Entisar by three lengths in what was only his second start on dirt and in the UAE.
The four-year-old Dubawi gelding, well beaten on his local debut in a 1600m Meydan handicap a fortnight ago, was travelling strongly under Antonio Fresu. Trained by Musabbeh Al Mheiri and now owned by Nasir Askar, he lived up to connections' expectations
A second Listed race, the 1200m The Garhoud Sprint, looked very competitive on paper but, as it transpired, proved a straightforward task for Ibn Malik. A six-year-old gelded son of Raven's Pass, he was chased home by fellow Shadwell Stud colour-bearer Waady, who ran on strongly for trainer Doug Watson and jockey Sam Hitchcott. Allowing the speed to unfold ahead of him, O'Neill kept the chestnut in the clear, going four-wide around the turn and quickly inhaling his opposition en route to a 4¾-length victory.
The meeting kicked off with the P&O Marinas, a 1600m maiden which produced a thrilling finish with five of the eight runners holding every chance entering the final 200m at which point Majestic Thunder hit the front under Richard Mullen.
However, challengers appeared on all sides and it was Celtic Prince, a four-year-old Shamardal gelding spoiling the party for owner-trainer Rashed Bouresly. It was a first winner this season for the Bouresly and a first ever locally for his young Czech jockey, David Liska.
The juveniles had their moment under the Meydan lights in the Jebel Ali Port, a 1600m conditions race. Richard Mullen and Satish Seemar, out of luck with Majestic Thunder, gained swift recompense with Commanding, who ran out the very easy winner. Sent straight to the front by Mullen, the Camacho colt was never headed and shot clear at the top of the straight, after which the result was never in doubt.
A 2000m handicap, the Hamdan bin Mohammed Cruise Terminal, was won stylishly by Grand Argentier, confidently ridden by Pat Dobbs for Doug Watson and EERC (Emirates Entertainment Racing Club).
Watson was soon celebrating a double in the Mina Hamriya, a 2200m handicap, with Sam Hitchcott-piloted Arch Gold. A four-year-old gelded son of Arch and a winner just once previously, he was settled just off the speed before striking for home early in the straight and he ran on gamely to hold off the challenge of Quartier Francais.
The finale, a 1400m handicap, the Mina Rashid, gave Watson a triple on the night when heavily favoured Midnight Sands sat comfortably on the pace before powering clear and then holding off the hard charge of Gaudi in second.
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