Thegreatcollection, ridden by Pat Cosgrave, races towards the finish line to win the Dubai Creek Mile.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The UAE champion Trainer Doug Watson bagged treble at the Meydan Racecourse’s last meeting of the year on Thursday evening.
The seven-race card officially highlighted by the Dubai Creek Mile, a 1600m contest, was impressively won by Thegreatcollection, who under Pat Cosgrave, upset a superb field that included G1 winner Capezzano and G3 winners Secret Ambition and Salute The Soldier.
As Salute The Soldier challenged for the lead, Secret Ambition challenged determinedly trying to defend his crown after a gritty win in this last year, hitting the front onside the final 150m.
In behind, Thegreatcollection, considered unlucky by many when fifth 12 months ago, was creeping closer before throwing down the final, telling challenge, wrestling the initiative from Secret Ambition in the final 50m.
Owned by Zaur Sekrekov, the 6-year-old gelded son of Saint Anodin was completing a double for Cosgrave and treble for trainer Watson, in the process the gelding registering a seventh career win, fifth in the UAE and his biggest success to date.
Watson said: “He is one of our slowest work horses at home and you just have to let him do his own thing, so we were pleased with his first run and thought he had improved for it.
“Pat has ridden exactly as you have to by letting him settle into his own rhythm and then he enjoys running past tiring horses late on.” The opening 1900m Group 2 Madjani Stakes, presented by Longines, the only Purebred Arabian race on the card, was won pretty comprehensively by RB Frynchh Dude, confidently ridden by Pat Cosgrave for trainer Helal Alalawi and owners Byerley Racing.
The Longines Spirit Collection Challenge, a 1400m maiden, contested by eight juvenile fillies was won pretty comprehensively by Al Rashid Stables' Doug Watson-trained Mnasek, who romped under Dane O'Neill, sweeping past her rivals after overcoming a dwelt start and defeating Nayefah by 6 3/4 lengths.
The longest race on the card, the Longines Spirit Collection Stakes, a 2200m handicap saw Watson back in the winner’s enclosure, at the time completing a double on the card with a determined effort from Meqdam under Sam Hitchcott.
Settled in midfield, the 4-year-old gelded son of Dubawi made smooth progress on the home turn before throwing down a persistent challenge down the outside, denying Sada’A in the final 50m.
The horse was winning for the second time, having landed a maiden over 1800m at Jebel Ali last March.
Now an 8-year-old, after 20 starts he has won just once, his final appearance in his native France, over 1,700m on turf, in July 2018. He joined Mohd Ramadan, making a very pleasing local debut in a conditions race over the same 2,000m as Friday’s race.
The Abu Dhabi turf played host to six races on Sunday and UAE champion Jockey Tadhg O’Shea landed four consecutive races for a memorable four-timer, including doubles for both Khalid Khalifa Al Nabooda and Ernst Oertel.
The first supplementary stage for all races on Dubai World Cup day will close on Wednesday, Feb.10, when connections can nominate their horse for 0.1% of the prize money of their chosen race.
Six-race card of the Sharjah Longines Racecourse’s second meeting of the season is highlighted by only Thoroughbred contest, the Dhs200,000 Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Cup, a competitive 1700m handicap for which a capacity field of 16 has been declared.
After wrapping up a successful pre-season training camp, UAE Team Emirates has picked a well-rounded 12-man outfit to tackle Challenge Mallorca, a series of one day events held each year in the Baleaerics Islands of Spain from Jan.26 -30.
Pavan Sagoo (Mena Tour) will strike the first tee shot in the UAE qualifier for the Saudi International on the National Course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club on Wednesday. 37 Pros and 10 Arab National Amateurs are competing in the event.
Fast bowler Shaheen Afridi was named men's cricketer of the year, while his teammates Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan were declared the ODI and T20I cricketers of year respectively. Fatima Sana won the emerging women's cricketer of the year award.