Doug Watson saddled a memorable 1-2 in the featured 2,000m turf handicap at Meydan on Thursday evening with Paul Hanagan partnering Jawhar to a narrow success over Pat Dobbs on stable companion Dr Faustus.
Riding for his main employer, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Hanagan was winning for the fourth time on Jawhar having won three times on him in England when he was trained by William Haggas.
This was the winner’s third start in the UAE and Hanagan said: “Obviously he is a horse I know very well and he ran very well on both his previous starts. Luckily he has been able to make it third time lucky here in the UAE.
“The early gallop was steady which did not help him settle but once he relaxed he travelled nicely. I was able to get through on the rail and he then ran on well. He responded gamely when the runner-up came to us and it was very close at the line. Luckily we came out on top.”
Watson added: “I was not sure which way it had gone but it is a great result for the whole yard.”
Seachantach was having his 25th local start when facing 13 rivals in the 1,200m turf handicap and finally won his first race locally under apprentice Marc Monaghan for Satish Seemar who was completing a quickfire double. Monaghan’s mount was never off the pace and was able to quicken well and the pair held on gamely.
The young Irishman said: “He has run so many brave races in defeat and really deserved that. He just has lots of natural speed and stays this trip well. He goes on dirt, the all-weather and turf so is a nice horse to have in the yard.”
The 1,400m preceding all-weather handicap was won cosily by Richard Mullen on Dubai Iconic for his main employer, Seemar to initiate the trainer’s brace. Winning for the second time on only his fifth start, Dubai Iconic may have more to offer according to his jockey.
“He is a nice young horse and going the right way,” said Mullen, who was riding high after claiming the Brouq Cup in Qatar over the weekend. “It would be nice to think he is improving with racing and I was always confident this evening. It has been a good week as I had a bit of joy in Qatar as well on Wednesday and Thursday.”
Iguazu Falls appeared to have dealt his chances of winning a blow after missing the start in the 1,600m all-weather handicap, and was notably absent in his customary front-running duties. His jockey, Adrie De Vries did not panic though and settled him in rear before the pair charged down the outside to lead close to home.
De Vries said: “That was certainly not the plan but he was a bit nervous in the stalls and missed the break. I was happy to take my time and he picked up really well in the straight so at least we know he can be ridden that way if need be.”
Racing opened with a 2,000m maiden on the all-weather with the Abdulla bin Huzaim-trained Midnight Moon running on strongly to land the spoils under Dane O'Neill, while the concluding 2,200m all-weather handicap went to Ukranian, ridden by Royston Ffrench for Champion Trainer, Ali Rashid Al Raihe.
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