Horse Racing: Early start to Doug Watson’s Christmas celebrations at Meydan

Updated: Dec 20, 2020

Dubai: Trainer Doug Watson’s Christmas celebrations began early on Thursday night at Meydan when the champion trainer saddle a trio of winners including the very impressive Thegreatcollection in the featured Dubai Creek Mile.

A seasoned 1,600m galloper, Thegreatcollection upset his more fancied rivals including Secret Ambition and race favourite Capezzano for a thumping two-and-a-quarter length victory under Pat Cosgrave.

The six-year-old was posting his fifth UAE victory and fourth at Meydan and looked as good as ever.

“He’s one of the slowest work horses that we have in the yard,” said Watson. “If you bully him he’ll probably go slower. I was really impressed with this first run (of the season). I thought he had a little bit of a chance tonight and then with the pace set up in front of him Pat (Cosgrave) just let him run his race and then picked them up easily.”

Cosgrave settled Thegreatcollection in mid-division behind the leaders Capezzano and Secret Ambition before grabbing the lead inside the final two furlongs. The pair then held on resolutely for victory over Secret Ambition and Capezzano.

Thursday’s card included a pair of intriguing two-year-old contests for fillies and colts, with the first of them, the Longines Spirit Collection Challenge falling to the Watson-trained Mnasek who spread-eagled the field for a six-and-three-quarter-length victory.

The Mile for colts and geldings was won by the Ali Rashid Al Rayhi-trained Grand Dubai.

Meanwhile, major races such as the $2 million Obaiya Cup in Saudi Arabia and the Dubai Kahayla Classic are likely 2021 targets for Helal Alalawi’s rising star RB Frynchh Dude after the handsome Purebred Arabian won a thrilling renewal of the Group 2 Madjani Stakes in dominating style.

With a confident Pat Cosgrave in the saddle, the four-year-old grabbed the race by the scruff of its neck at the 800m mark and ran on well to comfortably see of the fast-finishing Amway, the mount of Fabrice Veron, by two lengths, with Aoun and Antonio Fresu denied the runner-up slot by a head.

“He’s a very easy horse to ride you can put him where you want him to race and he relaxes nicely,” said Cosgrave. “He’s got no faults really. He’s a really smart Arabian for the future. Saudi looks a possible target and obviously if he runs well they will come back for World Cup night all being well,” he added. He’s a horse to look forward with.”

Alalawi said he always liked RB Frynchh Dude who was one of the better Arabians in his yard at The National Stables.

“We knew he would run well but you can never be too sure with Arabians,” said Alalawi. “That was very impressive. Obviously we will look at some nice races for him here and perhaps Abu Dhabi.”